Victoria decided long ago that her and Lawrence were going to be best friends, and he really had no say in the matter. That's just the kind of person Victoria is, confident. Every time she would come closer, he would push her away, but they have still been best friends for a very long time. However, one day Lawrence goes missing. Victoria is the kind of person who doesn't stand for nonsense like that and something about his disappearance just doesn't sit right with her. Especially, since everyone in town doesn't seem to be worried about it very much. Victoria starts to have an uneasy feeling and her suspicions begin to grow when she gets a note telling her to "watch out." Everything seems to be pointing toward Mrs. Cavendish's School for Boys and Girls.
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is deliciously creepy in a Graveyard Book/Coraline kind of way. And then Legrand puts in these passages....
"I want to speak with Mrs. Cavendish, " Victoria said, putting up her chin. She would not act afraid. "Now." He smiled widely, "Come." Remember, you're Victoria Wright, she reminded herself. Maybe in her imagination, she couldn't get to Lawrence, but real life was quite another thing; in real life, Victoria Wright always got excactly what she wanted. Mr. Alice pushed open the door. Something darker than shadows stretched away from him into the Home, forming a hallway with a tiny prick of light at the end. A rush of cold gusted out past Victoria. "Go on," Mr. Alice said, gesturing with his shovel. "She has been waiting for you."
Compelling right? You've certainly got my attention. That isn't enough though, Legrand then has these bugs that go scuttling and crawling on Victoria's hand and across the room. Well, my hairs on my neck stand up and then when these same bugs grace the pages of the book creeping around, I start to feel a little squirmy myself. I do think this was a brilliant idea by the way. Mrs. Cavendish makes for a very creepy villain and her methods of "coaching" the children are mean and cruel, but I seem to find that this is the kind of book that children would certainly enjoy within the school that I help out at. Most of all, I really enjoyed the friendship that Lawrence and Victoria shared especially this quote when Victoria is trying to clear her head "focus on Lawrence's face, happy humming and the smell of dirt on his shoes." A perfect book that should be read during Halloween, sets the mood for the season.
My review copy was from the Public Library.