Watch Over Me

Dutton. Sept. 2020. 240p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593108970.
Gr 9 Up–Mila has just aged out of the foster care system and is presented with a new opportunity. She will get to live and work at the farm of Terry and Julia in isolated Northern California, and she’s viewing the move as a positive step forward. Moving to the farm will be a chance to leave behind the dark parts of her past while she teaches the younger children who live there, tends to the flowers, and runs the Sunday market farm stand. Mila has been warned that the farm is “a special place” and tries to enter with an open mind. While the farm provides a refuge, and Mila yearns for acceptance from her newfound family, she is haunted. It turns out that a change in scenery doesn’t allow her to escape the ghosts from her past and she has to confront them head on. LaCour presents a ghost story that is moving, unsettling, and full of atmospheric beauty with foggy, coastal air that hangs heavy in the pages. This is a quiet, contemporary tale filled with loneliness and dark undertones. While this feels like a shift from her previous novels, this story goes right to readers’ feelings and is still 100% LaCour at its core.
VERDICT Fans of LaCour’s previous work will clamor to get their hands on this one. A first purchase for all collections.

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