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The Mystery of Drear House

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Virginia Hamilton. The Mystery of Drear House. Greenwillow Books, 1987. 217pp

In concluding her series of stories about the Small family, Virginia Hamilton compliments the original plot perfectly in The Mystery of Drear House. The books dark secrets begin to slowly unveil and are brought to end with a surprising friendship.

The book is again set around the house of Dies Eddington Drear, in a current year. The surrounding property and underground tunnels on premises play major roles in defining the plot and motive for the characters bizarre actions.

The main character in the book was Thomas small; he is a young boy about 12 years old. He is shy and timid but is very mature for his age. He sees things for how they should be, and he often gives too much due to his kind-hearted nature. Thomas best friend is Pesty Darrow a girl his age who lives on the property that borders theirs. The Darrows are a feuding family and believe that there is gold buried on the Small's land. They feel that it should belong to them and pull many risky stunts to try and find it. Mrs. Darrow is Pestys mother and the key to many secrets of the house and the tunnels that were once apart of the Underground Railroad. Due to her mental illness, she cannot speak and remember things clearly. Thomas's father has known the location of the gold, and being the good man that he is, arranges for the Darrows to find it. He did this so they could live next to each other without feuding.

I believe Hamilton was trying to show that stubborn people with different ideas can over come one another's differences. She shows how kindness and letting someone know that your care, and to be able to let the past go can bring even the worst of enemies together.

The book in itself was excellent; I thought it explained and answered many questions and brought the story to a sufficient close. I almost wish it wouldn't have, the mysteries of the house were quite interesting especially with the relevance to the Underground Railroad and the true history behind it, which she incorporated into the plot.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a twisting plot with many different leads and secrets to be found out later by the reader. It keeps you thinking and wishing your were there taking part in the whole experiences of creeping through



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