Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as Ella unravels the mystery of the girl next door.
1982: Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute For Children at the very moment that it’s shutting its doors. When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.
2016: Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one. From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window. Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s shadowy past.
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I would have known nothing of this book if I’d not watched the review video of Savidge Reads via BookTube, so i’m extremely grateful for this book being bought to my attention as I adored it!
Wow! Through a stunning mix of beautiful black and white illustrations, often in the form of just black pages, and diary entries from 1982, the world of Thornhill past and present is brought to life in amazing fashion by Pam Smy.
At the heart of the story is the sad story of Mary who in 1982 was a resident of Thornhill, and was suffering an amazingly lonely life, and being bullied, but she got through every day through by making puppets and creating a safe space for herself with them, to escape the bleak world outside her door.
In the present, we get the story of Ella who moves into a house with her Dad that overlooks Thornhill which has been left as a no go zone whilst they decide what to do with the site. Her story explores a connection that Ella feels with Mary.
This is a creepy, chilling, haunting and powerful story aimed at readers of all ages. A must read!!