A Summary of my opinion of the book: If it was a best seller, the books I publish in the future will be on the NY Times Best Seller list for eternity!
Despite the idyllic name and New England locale, Paradise Point is seething with secrets. Set in 1980, the locals fear the century old story of a 12-year-old named Amanda who was blind. Taunted by her peers, Amanda is forced off a cliff to an early death.
Amanda's travails parallel those of Michelle. The former honor student who had no demerits or other negative marks on her previous report cards in Boston does an about face in Paradise Point. Michelle initially makes friends quickly with the local children and shines in the class she attends at Paradise Point. Things change for the worse for her when June gives birth to Jennifer and stories about Amanda and her shadowy history crop up. Michelle, like Amanda is injured in a fall from a cliff. Cal rebuffs her and no longer has anything to do with Michelle. Despondent, Michelle turns her affection to a mysterious doll she finds in a closet. She names the doll Amanda and suddenly...Amanda's fury grows. Several younger children with whom Michelle has made friends die in bizarre accidents. Michelle herself has "foggy vision" when she is with "Amanda." She claims to have met the original Amanda who died in 1880 and that she and the dead child share the doll named after her.
But was Amanda real? Was a blood stain really in the potter's shed on Michelle's property? If so, whose blood is it? Who left the mysterious sketches? Was Amanda really dead or had she somehow been reanimated? Was Michelle imagining things?
The parallel travails of two girls, separated by a century in time makes for some very riveting reading.