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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Ghosts of Tara: An Irish Mystery is a Gothic novel of suspense written by Frances Powell. Lucy Burke was just your average fifteen-year-old, that is, if hearing ghostly voices in her bedroom and emanating from the cemetery behind her house could be considered normal. Lucy got by in school as best she could, even if she did wish people would stop bullying her because of her red hair and freckles. She also wished and hoped her parents would stop arguing, but that, it seemed, only got worse until they told her a few weeks before her sixteenth birthday that they were sending her to spend a year with her grandmother in Ireland. Grandmother? Lucy hadn’t even known she had one. And the time away wasn’t for their efforts at reconciliation, but to hammer out their separation terms. All too soon, she was off on a flight to Dublin. Lucy had no idea what to expect from the grandmother she had just learned about. She certainly didn’t expect the stately pile that was her grandmother’s home. Lucy’s life was about to change in so many ways -- for Lucy had actually come home.
Frances Powell’s Gothic novel of suspense, Ghosts of Tara: An Irish Mystery, is a grand and exhilarating coming of age story set in Ireland where a young girl facing the separation of her parents finds the answer to the voices she had always heard and discovers who she is. Powell’s characters are credible and compelling, especially Lucy and her most atypical grandmother. I loved the Irish setting of this story and was fascinated with the family history Lucy inherits and seeks to untangle. The haunting and exotic background for this story is delicious, and the writing is incomparably smooth. Ghosts of Tara had me remembering the delights of reading those classic Gothic novels: Jane Eyre, Rebecca, and Wuthering Heights. Ghosts of Tara: An Irish Mystery is most highly recommended.