Victoria Wright likes everything to be just so. She excels at pretty much everything. Her manners, appearance, her grades – spotless. She doesn’t have time for mess, or distractions or nonsense. She doesn’t really have time for friends. With the exception of Lawrence, who spends far too much of his time playing the piano. He’s slouchy, always has his shirt untucked, there’s a strange streak of white in his hair, and Victoria sees it as her duty to try to tidy him up a bit. He’s sort of a project, really.
But one day, Lawrence just disappears. His parents have strange grins on their faces and claim he’s gone to see his grandmother. None of the teachers at school seem concerned. Only Victoria is suspicious. It’s not just Lawrence who’s disappeared in the last few months either, although Victoria’s head goes a bit fuzzy when she tries to remember the others. None of the grown-ups will answer her questions, they just grin wolfishly and tell her to mind her own business. All the clues lead towards the Cavendish Home, an orphanage run by the beautiful Mrs. Cavendish and her strange assistant/gardener, Mr. Alice. Everything seems warm and friendly and cosy when Victoria goes to check it out, but she also finds a paper air plane with the words “Help us!” written on it. Something sinister is clearly afoot, and Victoria is determined to get it sorted out. More on my blog.
Wow this book looks like my jam (I loved the film version of Coraline and anything by Roald Dahl)! Thanks for the great review – adding to Goodreads “To Read” shelf now!
It’s really rather wonderful, but I doubt I’ll want to read it again any time soon (I really found it very creepy), hence I couldn’t give it the full 5 stars. I found it because of a glowing review on The Book Smugglers last year.