There have been many changes in fourteen-year-old Meaghan’s life; her father’s death two years previously, her mother’s remarriage and resulting step-family, including a much disliked stepsister, Laura, and a move from the city to the country. Plagued by visions of darkness, the black hearse, the black hole her Dad was put in, Meaghan is having difficulty coping with her new life. She reaches out to the comfort of a next door neighbour, Sarah Johnston, an elderly black woman who does her gardening at night and appears to have an uncanny clairvoyant ability. Sarah tells Meaghan about her ancestors who escaped to Canada on the Underground Railroad in 1849 and shows her the tiny money box her great grandmother brought with her. When Meaghan opens the box it transports her back to 1849 to the bleak reality of slavery among Sarah’s ancestors. Using the tin box to travel back and forth Meaghan becomes involved in effort to free Sarah’s ancestors. She turns to her new step-sister, Laura, for help.
At first unwilling, Laura finds herself drawn into the escape plans and declaring a temporary truce, the step-sisters endure fear, cold, hunger and heart-breaking setbacks through swamps and mountains to bring Sarah’s family to Canada. In doing so Laura and Meaghan cautiously begin to accept each other and learn a valuable lesson in dignity, self-worth and caring. ……Read More
Dear Canada: A Trail of Broken Dreams: The Goldrush Diary of Harriet Palmer: Overland to the Cariboo 1862
August 24, 1862
I would not have believed it had I not tasted it myself, but skunk makes fine eating. For a creature that stinks so horribly, it sure tastes wonderful.
It is Sunday but we continued our journey today – the first Sunday we have traveled since we set out – as our food is so low we had to press on or starve. I worry for Mrs. Schubert. Despite the meat from the horse they killed, she seems very tired. I took the two eldest children to walk with me.
August 25, 1862
All are gloomy of thought tonight. But there is no going back now.
August 26, 1862
A night and day as I’d never want to repeat. We camped on the steep side of the mountain and I lay awake all night, fearful of rolling down. Then we had to cross a narrow ledge barely a foot broad, covered with loose slate and once again a sheer drop on one side.
Other girls, Dee discovers, have disappeared too, unusual for a small town nestled in the shadow of the Bruce Peninsula’s rugged escarpment, the “mountain” that Dee loves.
Like her Gran, Dee has “the Sight,” an ability not only to see spirits from the after life, but also to experience their deaths –an experience that becomes more horrifying as the story takes darker turns. While trying to help local police with the investigation, Dee is drawn into a deepening mystery that soon strikes terrifyingly close to home.
Set in the aftermath of World War I, where soldiers are returning to a society that doesn’t know the full horrors of what they went through, Haunted is an atmospheric story that will haunt readers long after they finish reading. ……Read More