Daisy Fitzjohn knows there are two worlds: the outside world and the world of her home, a secluded mansion called Brightwood Hall. But only Brightwood is real for Daisy--she’s never once set foot outside its grounds. Daisy and her mother have everything they need within Brightwood’s magnificent, half-ruined walls, including Daisy’s best friends: a talking rat named Tar and the ghost of a long-ago explorer who calls herself Frank.
When Daisy’s mother leaves one morning, a peculiar visitor, James Gritting, arrives on the estate, claiming to be a distant cousin. But as the days tick by and Daisy’s mother doesn’t return, Gritting becomes more and more menacing. He wants Brightwood for himself, and he will do anything to get it.
Tania Unsworth takes readers on a twisting, heart-pounding journey through dark corridors and wild woods to a place where the line between imagination and madness is sometimes hard to find.
Praise For Brightwood…
“Brilliantly conceived by Unsworth . . . Subtle and thought-provoking, the novel is entertaining and heartfelt.”
“This is the best kind of middle-grade thriller: atmospheric with just the right amount of scare and a few bits of humor as a bonus . . . Readers who loved Beatty’s mansion-set Serafina and the Black Cloak will happily wander Brightwood’s grounds and explore its mysteries.”
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Filled with action and intrigue . . . This suspenseful story will keep intrepid readers transfixed until the well-earned happy ending.”
—The Horn Book Magazine
“A nice read-alike for fans of Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener or Neil Gaiman’s Coraline . . . A solid purchase for middle grade students who enjoy creepy stories with elements of magical realism.”
—School Library Journal
“Beautiful, evocative writing brings Daisy’s world to life, and readers will empathize with Daisy and admire her courage and resourcefulness.”
“Think of it as ‘Home Alone’ meets ‘Coraline’ — the perfect spine-tingler for 9- to 12-year-old readers.”
“Thrilling and dark, this novel will leave tween readers asking themselves where imagination ends and madness begins.”
—A Mighty Girl
“Compelling and mesmerizing, Brightwood is a dazzling middle grades read sure to captivate! Brightwood is everything a story should be . . . Highly, highly recommended for all middle grades and anyone who gets lost in a great story.”
—Pamela Thompson, reviewer for the El Paso Times
“Brightwood is a fast-paced, exhilarating novel that keeps readers on their toes: terrified, entranced, angered and in love with the characters Unsworth creates . . . Brightwood addresses important values for children ages 10 and up, and teaches these values in ways that are both subtle yet graspable.”
—Centered on Books
“Unsworth’s beautiful and haunting descriptions bring Brightwood Hall to life and draw readers into Daisy’s world. Young readers will be rooting for Daisy as she prepares to fight for her home and flee if necessary in this entrancing story that will keep everyone guessing till the very end.”
“Tania Unsworth’s Brightwood is like a fancifully crafted keepsake box from another era containing a perfectly contemporary sensibility. It’s intrepid in exploring feelings of abandonment, orphanhood, peril and loss. Its new brand of magic is just right for today.”
“Dive deep into the mysterious circumstances that besiege Brightwood . . . adventure awaits readers around every bend . . . a charming read.”
—Independent Voice (Dixon, CA)
—From the Mixed Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors
Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616203306, 272pp.
Publication Date: September 27, 2016
About the Author
The daughter of the late novelist Barry Unsworth, Tania Unsworth spent her childhood in Cambridge, UK, before moving to America in her early twenties. She currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband and two sons. She’s the author of The One Safe Place. Her website is www.taniaunsworth.com.