First, a confession: although this isn’t really my sort of book, I was inclined to like it simply because of the correct use of the apostrophe in the title!
13 year old Jack O’Hagan moves with his parents to an old cottage (‘needs work’) in Cornwall and, at the risk of paraphrasing Cold Comfort Farm, ‘there’s something nasty in the cellar’.
The story moves from the present day back in time. The historical elements have a hint of Wilkie Collins about them and the descriptions of Jack, his moods and behaviour capture beautifully the teenage years, the boredom, resentment and loneliness. Parents? Always asking questions and wanting you to help around the house. What a pain!
Aimed at young adults, I really admire the author’s use of vocabulary which stretches the reader (stasis anyone?). No dumbing down to the lowest common denominator. Bravo!