CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 7 . . . .November 25, 2005
Rather than a summer preparing for an all-star track meet, spending time with her new girlfriend, Jade, and hopefully attracting the attention of good-looking Jeff, Morgan is at her grandmother's farm to spend time with Clare, her seemingly perfect cousin, or to entertain 10-year-old Dulcy. In Morgan's own words, "My punishment couldn't be worse. I'm banished."
Dulcy and Morgan use cornhusk dolls to re-enact old family stories as well as more recent events between Clare and her boyfriend, Renzo. Strangely, the past and present seem to somehow mingle and come to resemble one another more and more. Can history actually repeat itself? Is this linked to spending so much time under Seraphina, the ancient fir tree named for a great-aunt who died tragically? Are there connections between generations which turn into self-fulfilling prophecies?
Canadian author Jocelyn Shipley has another winner in her young adult novel, Seraphina's Circle. The plot contains enough mystery, romance and tragedy to keep readers avidly turning pages...and lamenting when they reach the final page. Morgan, who is almost 13-years-old, faces all the challenges and difficulties of being a young teen, and readers watch her fumble with her own feelings and with her dealings with others. Yet, out of these mistakes, she gains understanding and insight. Shipley uses appropriate dialogue and vivid description which bring Morgan to life at that age when she is neither child nor adult. As Morgan, herself, says, "I don't know—after wanting so much to grow up, now I wish I could be a little kid again."
Shipley has written a true-to-life story which is engrossing for readers. Past family history combines with turbulent present events in Morgan's life, and the two keep the reader enjoying and anticipating right to the end of the book.
Ann Ketcheson is a former teacher-librarian and teacher of high school English and French. She lives in Ottawa, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.