FORBIDDEN by Eve Bunting
When Josie is orphaned, her parents having died of influenza two days from each other, she has no idea what to expect as she is unceremoniously deposited at the home of her aunt and uncle. The neat little home, with its overly pious occupants is shrouded in mystery. Josie had heard her uncle had an apothecary and was well to do, but nothing save a few items indicated wealth. A guardian dog, Lamb, watches her every move and seems to have an unseemly communication with her aunt. Josie soon realizes she is not just a ward but a prisoner where she is to stay until her 18th birthday.
A solicitor has agreed to furnish the couple with much needed money until the two years are up. But Josie wonders about their clandestine activities, which she will be trained to participate in; sinister,murderous and somehow connected to the neighboring town, where no one is welcomed save those who are part of its “family”.
Josie meets young Eli and is delighted to find someone her age. And hopes that what they share will be more than friendship. But everyone, including his grandmother, who is the town’s “healer”, who has encountered them together warns her that he is forbidden.
When she is forbidden to leave her room while her aunt and uncle leave, and Lamb, the large and ominous dog, is left to guard her door, she can take it no longer and escapes through a broken window.
What she finds her aunt and uncle participating in, sickens and horrifies her.
A true page turner and a ghost story at its best.
For the sophisticats, YA readers with a love of historical fiction, mystery and a touch of the paranormal. This book is for you!