When Sherry Alston came to visit her aunt Judith, she claimed to have an imaginary playmate named Miranda. Sherry didn’t know anything about Miranda, her dead half-sister, who accidentally drowned in a pond, years ago. Thirteen year old Lindsey lived next door to the Alstons’ mansion. Together with her best friend Tammy, they tried to unravel the mystery of the ghost next door.
I love this novel and the flow of the story was very intriguing that I couldn’t put it down. Basically, people around little Sherry were skeptical whether she could really see Miranda’s ghost. Most of the characters are either weird or interesting, especially Mr. Farrar (he belonged to the weird character category) who even invited a famous psychic to summon the spirit of little Miranda and plotted evidence just to prove that this psychic he brought could communicate with ghosts. I’m not sure what’s up with this guy but I’m glad he wasn’t my neighbor.
Mr. Alston, Sherry’s dad and her aunt Judith were close siblings and they were obviously still affected by Miranda’s sudden death. Mr. Alston tried to give Sherry everything because of the guilt that he wasn’t able to be there for his dead daughter while aunt Judith couldn’t give Sherry the same affection she gave to Miranda and wasn’t ready to let go of Miranda’s memories. I feel that these two are being unfair to Sherry. It’s hard to fight for someone’s love especially if you’re competing with a dead person.
Lindsey and Tammy are neighbors with the Alstons and a good friend of aunt Judith. Sherry became friends with Lindsey’s brothers when she came for a vacation with her parents. I’m not sure why I find the two girls, Lindsey and Tammy, a bit peculiar. I think they’re too unbelievably clever for their age and it’s difficult to relate to them especially for a thirteen year old reader.
The best thing I like about this story is the mystery whether Sherry could really see Miranda’s ghost or everything she knew about her dead half-sister was due to finding Miranda’s old diary. Well, the bad thing -the mystery remained a mystery till the end.Miranda didn’t really show herself to anyone except to Sherry- if she really could see the ghost of Miranda. There was no climax where the characters were being chased by a terrifying spirit of a young girl or no dramatic confrontation with shocking revelations or similar to that.
Even the place where Miranda hid the owl with the love on its eyes, a figurine she made with her aunt before she died, wasn’t much of a revelation. I was expecting something shocking like aunt Judith accidentally killed Miranda and the owl was buried with her hidden body but there wasn’t anything like that. It’s still my favourite part though and what kept me intrigue till the end.
Over all, the novel is a great read and a page turner if you like mystery and it did scare me a bit but I have to warn you, don’t expect a ghost to show up or you’ll be disappointed.