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Award winning author, Suzanne de Montigny, wrote her first novella when she was twelve. Years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, thus reigniting her love affair with writing. A teacher for twenty years, she enjoys creating fantasy and paranormal for tweens and teens. She lives in Burnaby, B.C., Canada with the four loves of her life – her husband, two boys, and Buddy the dog.
on Oct. 24, 2017 :
When I began A Town Betwiched I immediately wanted to satisfy my curiosity so much that I read until I finished it shortly before midnight.
In de Montigny’s young adult fantasy novel, A Town Bewitched, I wanted the answers so questions.
Who is the red-headed fiddler, who arrives in Hope a small town near Toronto?
How can racist attacks at school, on Charlotte, (a Chinese girl, adopted in China by a white American parents) be stopped?
Who is painting graffiti, including the one on the black marble tombstone of the heroine’s father?
What is the disgusting significance of disembowelled birds left near the grafiti?
In the novel written in the 1st person, de Montigny has captured the convincing voice of Kira, the heroine, a 14 year-old violinist – a child prodigy. Kira’s voice is loud and clear. While I read I almost saw, smelt, heard, tasted and touched everything she did, as well as experiencing her fear that increases bit by bit and culminates in a shocking incident,
At her father’s burial, Kira sees Katie McDonough, a mysterious fiddler for the first time. Later, she sees the red-haired woman from the cemetery “who walks with long strides, her wet strands clinging to her clothes, her leather boots muddied. Had she walked all the way from the graveyard in the storm? When she pauses and looks at me it is as though she knows me. For a moment, I think I know her too. My gaze looks for a few minutes with the iciest blue eyes I have ever seen, eyes almost inhuman…”
Kira’s father promised to buy her a very expensive violin before her ARVT – the certificate from The Royal Conservatory in Toronto that says she is as good as anyone who has done 2 years of university, but her mother can’t afford to buy it. Grief-stricken after his death, Kira no longer plays music.
When Katie plays the fiddle at the pub owned by Kira’s Uncle Jack, at first Kira is enchanted then afraid. At school she sees a poster with a picture of Katie, that advertises lessons in celtic fiddling and dancing that may be learned singly or in groups.
Soon, everyone in the whole town, except for Kira, including her mother and young brother, talk about Celtic. Kira hears ‘conversations, in the supermarket, at the public library and the DVD station.
The only theme I disliked was that of Travis, a disturbed youth, who bullies and provokes Chrlotte and Kira. In my opinion, the authorities are too lenient with him.
De Montigny is to be congratulated on writing a carefully crafted novel, with satisfying conclusions, which will appeal to young adults and adults.
(reviewed the day of purchase)