Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Texas Gothic by Rosemary- Clement Moore

Amy thought she was going to have a peaceful summer while her Aunt Hyacinth was in China. How hard would it be to take care of her aunt’s herb farm in the beautiful hill country of Texas? The worst thing Amy encountered so far were trying to keep the goats out of the yard.

Until she ran after them in her underwear. And met Ben McCullogh…

The McCulloghs own the ranch in Barnett that surrounds Aunt Hyacinth’s small farm. Ben (and everyone in town) has always known the Goodnights have a little bruja to them. And Amy and Ben’s first chance meeting causes even more friction. Not only do the families have a tenuous relationship, but a recent project on the McCulloughs ranch has brought on even more tension. Long dead bodies have been excavated, and the ghost of the Mad Monk now haunts Amy.

Amy and her sister Phin are now part of the anthropological dig headed up by a team of UT students and their professor. The bones seem to be from long ago, but it’s the dangerous and threatening ghost that tries to harm Amy that is the foremost concern for the sisters. Amy now realizes she’s haunted, but doesn’t know what the ghost wants. All he tells her is to be careful (Alto! Cuidado!) but is that enough?

Ben doesn’t want to help Amy find solutions, nor does he believe in hauntings. Even his worst enemies, the Kellys (including the deputy) tell Amy to stay away from trouble and quit stirring up the community. Amy would love more than to stop, but her haunting won’t let her go. It’s telling her to find him…but will it lead to more danger that it’s worth? What exactly is going on at the McCullough ranch?

A great ghost story founded on Texas legend, this novel will be one where teens will find a great mixed genre of supernatural and mystery. The Goodnight girls’ personalities, as well as that of the family, will carry the reader, while the sharp romance between Ben and Amy will carry the reader even further. Adding a flair for modern forensics and ghost-hunting, this novel balances past history with today’s techniques readers may be familiar with. It’s Ghost Adventures meets CSI – all in a great YA book. For a Texas native myself, Clement-Moore’s writing captures the heart and scenery of Texas, from the families to the folklore to the personality of small town Texas.

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