­Greenwillow. Mar. 2022. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062835772.
Gr 8 Up–Schwab uses a blend of Gothic, fantasy, and horror to create an unsettling story that reads like a cautionary folktale to beware the shadows. Olivia Prior spends her days at the Merilance School for Independent Girls reading her mother’s journal and longing for a family. It seems her wish is granted when a long-lost uncle writes to her and calls her home. But when she arrives at Gallant, no one is expecting her, and her angry cousin, Matthew, just wants her to leave. When Olivia eventually finds herself in a warped mirror version of Gallant, she finds answers, too: what happened to her mother, who her father is, why she can see ghouls wherever she goes. She will have to make a choice; which version of Gallant will she choose? Will she stay and step into her role as a Prior, or will she stand behind the dark creature that rules the other Gallant? There is so much grief in this story: over losing family, home, and the way things were. Olivia is a protagonist who doesn’t go out of her way to be likeable, but she still very much wants her found family to want her back. The Priors are white. Olivia cannot speak, and her cousin, Matthew, cannot read.
VERDICT A must-buy for libraries where Holly Black, Neil Gaiman, Emily Lloyd-Jones, and other authors of creepy and unnerving tales circulate well.

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