Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Lily Dale: Awakening

Lily Dale: Awakening

Wendy Corsi Staub
Ficiton  Series
For ages 12 and up
Walker Childrens, 2009   ISBN: 978-0802798435

Calla once thought that the worst thing that could happen to her was being dumped by her boyfriend of two years. She was wrong. The worst thing surely is coming home to find that your mother has fallen down the stairs and that she is dead. Now Calla finds herself standing in a cemetery, watching her mother get laid to rest. She can hardly believe what is happening to her and that her mother is truly gone. While Calla stands at the graveside she feels that someone is watching her. When she turns to find out who it is she sees a woman in white standing some way off who is looking at Calla with great intensity. Then a moment later the woman is gone.

After the funeral is over it is decided that Calla will go to spend the summer with her grandmother Odelia. Calla does not know her grandmother very well as she and Calla's mother had a falling out some time ago. In fact Calla has never even been to the place where Odelia lives, the town where her mother grew up. She has no idea what to expect and is shocked to discover that Odelia lives in a spiritualist community. Not only that, but her grandmother is a psychic and medium. Great. Now Calla has to spend the summer with a woman who is "wack job."

From the moment she arrives Calla starts to have some very peculiar experiences. She sees a woman in Odelia's house when no one else is supposed to be there. Then, when a lady comes to consult with Odelia, Calla sees the client's daughter standing in the flower bed, and the flowers are undisturbed. At night, memories about an argument that Odelia and Calla's mother had years ago come to Calla in her dreams. What was that all about? To top it off Calla sees the woman in white again, the same woman she saw at the funeral. Could it be that she, like her grandmother, is sensitive to the presence of the dead? If so, then what are the dead trying to tell her?

This is the first book in what promises to be a thrilling series. The author not only explores what it is like for a teenage girl to lose her mother, but she also looks at the world of mediums and psychics. The result is a fascinating book that combines the ordinary problems of a teenage girl with some very extraordinary experiences that are gripping and sometimes downright creepy.