The Mirk and Midnight Hour
By Jane Nickerson
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780385752862, 384pp.)
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
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A Gothic thriller and captivating love story set in Civil War Mississippi
Seventeen-year-old Violet Dancey has been left at home in Mississippi with a laudanum-addicted stepmother and love-crazed stepsister while her father fights in the war—a war that has already claimed her twin brother. When she comes across a severely injured Union soldier lying in an abandoned lodge deep in the woods, things begin to change. Thomas is the enemy—one of the men who might have killed her own brother—and yet she’s drawn to him. But Violet isn’t Thomas’s only visitor. Someone has been tending to his wounds—keeping him alive—and it becomes chillingly clear that this care hasn’t been out of compassion. Against the dangers of war and threatening powers of voodoo, Violet fights to protect her home, her family, and the man she’s begun to love.
“An exciting story—juicy, romantic and at times quite chilling.” —BookPage
“An atmospheric story in which darkness houses mysteries, [with] rich imagery and imaginative subplots.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Compelling. . . . There’s a languid ease to the prose that invites readers to become fully immersed.” —The Bulletin
For many years, JANE NICKERSON and her family lived in a big old house in Aberdeen, Mississippi, where she worked as the children’s librarian at the local public library. She has always loved the South, “the olden days,” Gothic tales, houses, kids, writing, and interesting villains. Her first novel was Strands of Bronze and Gold, a retelling of the Bluebeard fairy tale. Jane and her husband recently returned to Mississippi. Visit her at Jane-Nickerson.com.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February 2014:
"There’s a languid ease to the prose that invites readers to become fully immersed in the sweltering heat of a Mississippi summer, and Nickerson paints a picture of the Southern landscape that is rustic but ethereal and at times, eerie."
Publishers Weekly, January 13, 2014:
"Tomboyish Violet’s interactions with Seeley and the Union soldier are charming."
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2014:
"Far from the typical Civil War romance...[w]ith rich imagery and imaginative subplots driving the storyline."
"An exciting story—juicy, romantic and at times quite chilling."