A dark, psychological drama is infused with the supernatural and reveals the painful lengths an adolescent girl is willing to go to in order to claim her own identity.
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Werewolves take on the role of ordinary family members by day, in this novel with strong erotic overtones by Windsor (The Christmas Killer, 1991, etc.). Maris Pelham grabs the chance to leave her unhappy American home and go to England for a summer as a mother's helper. Barb, the mother, has some mysterious illness and young Vicky and Adam seem frightened for their pet rabbit. At first Maris fears the father, Derek, but as she becomes irritated with Barb's outbursts, she begins to react to his overtures. Barb's suicide makes Maris and Derek's bond stronger, and eventually he admits that he is a werewolf and invites him to join her. Her growing delight in blood and in killing prey disturbs her human side, and she begins to wonder about the choice she has made. The book ends after a farmer shoots them; only Maris survives, to return to the US and an unknown future. This is fast-paced and lurid, perfect for bloodthirsty readers who want to linger over descriptions of tearing flesh; unresolved are the sensual issues of being an animal, the morality of killing for pleasure, and, far more disturbing, the unseemliness of older, married Derek luring Maris into her new life and then all but dismissing her. Strong stuff, requiring a strong stomach. (Fiction 14+) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From School Library Journal:
Grade 8 Up-For Maris Pelham, spending the summer in England as an au pair provides the perfect opportunity to prove herself capable and responsible, especially to her mother. But a number of elements in her new surroundings arouse her curiosity: Derek Forrest's nighttime excursions into the woods; his arguments with wife Barb, who suffers from chronic fatigue and bouts of depression; the animal odor that often permeates the house; inexplicable blood and bits of flesh in the bathroom; and the strange animal that follows Maris home through the woods. Nevertheless, the young woman grows attached to this young family, as her usefulness to them boosts her confidence. But when Barb is found dead, her wrists violently slashed in an apparent suicide, Derek discloses to Maris the family's secret-he is a werewolf intent on "blooding" her as well. Told in flashbacks, the novel is immediately engaging, offering first its shocking conclusion, and then unfolding the events leading up to it, building suspense along the way. Although some situations seem a bit contrived and some characters are not fully developed, fans of horror fiction, including reluctant readers, will find the novel engrossing and generally satisfying.
Kelly Diller, Humboldt High School, IA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Scholastic, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0590433091
Book Description Scholastic, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110590433091
Book Description Scholastic. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0590433091 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1162022