Saskatoon StarPhoenix Review - Ghosts in the Garden
The spring run from Coteau Books includes 3 titles of particular interest to Sask readers
Reviewed by: Bill Robertson
Ghosts in the Garden ($10.95) comes across immediately as the continuing adventures of 10-year-olds Sam and J.J., two Regina girls who readers met in Ghosts of Government House. These precocious girls stumble into the past while on a visit with their school to said house. They meet the house gardener in 1903, then walk through another time portal into 1941 and are witness to some adult goings on they don't understand.
They meet one of those adults as an elderly woman in a local care home and she starts to tie together some of what they're seeing. But they can't stop walking into the past, and their big fear is they may not be able to get back if they can't find what's causing the time shifts.
Sure enough, there's a mystery involved, this one around a missing watch. The girls, and Silverthorne's readers, learn a lot of Saskatchewan history, and they develop some keen empathy around an elder, a valuable lesson, for sure. The unfortunate hiccup in this story is the number of references the girls make to events and people from the previous work. If you are coming to this novel first, you'll be left out of a good many tidbits, and that can be a little disconcerting.
This is an excerpt of an article which originally appeared in the StarPhoenix.