The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story Hardcover – Apr 20 1989
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From Publishers Weekly
After the death of her father, Ashley and her mother move to a new town to start over. Ashley doesn't mind their small, second-floor apartment, but she takes an immediate dislike to grumpy Miss Cooper, the owner of the house. Fascinated by the tangled, overgrown rose garden in the back yard, Ashley and her new friend Kristi explore the neglected, forbidden area. When she and Kristi unearth an antique doll buried beneath one of the bushes, Ashley soon finds herself entangled in a ghostly past and its ties to the present. In evidence is Hahn's usual detail-oriented prose, which deftly sets the stage for intrigue; the author of Wait Till Helen Comes and other acclaimed books has created a captivating fantasy that explores friendship, grief and the interconnectedness of events in time. Ages 9-12.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-- A young girl helps her cantankerous elderly landlord to resolve a childhood act that caused the woman lifelong guilt. Ashley follows a white cat back in time and meets Louisa, a girl who is dying and who longs for her beloved doll--a doll that Ashley and her friend Kristi have found buried in Miss Cooper's garden. In the end Ashley, Kristi, and Miss Cooper visit Louisa; the woman is able to make am mends with her childhood friend, and Ashley begins to accept her father's death. Hahn's portrayal of crotchety Miss Cooper is expertly drawn, giving vivid insight into why she acts and lives as she does. Ashley, her widowed mother, and Kristi are also fully realized characters. When Hahn sticks to her story, it moves along at a steady, scary clip. However, when she lapses into lengthy descriptions of flowers, birds, and landscape, she slows the pace of the story rather than creates the intended atmosphere. Ashley's first-person narrative often gets bogged down in a flowery adult voice, particularly in the descriptions: "As still as the cherub behind me, I watched the leaves sway in the breeze. Sunlight and shadow mottled the ground, and the weeds whispered to themselves, lulling me like distant voices of children at play." Still, it's an imaginative ghost story, fairly predictable, but with a completely satisfying ending. --Trev Jones, "School Library Journal"
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
A girl moves with her cat, <i>Oscar</i> and widowed Mother. Rather typically, they struggle financially and their landlady is a crank. She forbids a disused garden, the source of interest immediately presenting itself to the transplanted child. A younger, annoying neighbour girl causes difficulty but they try to be companions. If I hadn’t been dazzled by the multitudinous threads and creativity <b>Mary</b> achieved with <i>”Time For Andrew”</i> in few pages, I might not feel she breezes through common issues in this one. This was composed earlier, so we could say she was warming up to the journey of her later release.
This story is still wonderfully inventive. The girls find a doll in the off-limits garden. A cat rumoured to be a ghost, has been sighted every July. Our brave protagonist, <i>Ashley</i> follows it to the next yard, which has been empty of any structure for decades. These are the enchanting chapters. They meet the doll’s owner, discover the circumstances under which she would like it to be given back, and we learn why their landlady has been a crank. The conclusion is very satisfying, because the threads aren’t settled in the manner books often handle them. Most especially, we learn the important role the landlady has had in all this for about seventy years.
I enjoyed reading this book because I simply enjoy ghost stories, and this book is a great example of a ghost story. This book has many misteries and thrills every time. "Kristi crept closer, and when I finally got it open she screamed at the sight of its contents. It's a dead girl! She cried." It is these kinds of events that keep you at the end of your seat! I loved how the author put all the right thrills in the right places.
I relished reading this book because it was interesting reading about the many ways Ashley used to solve the mystery and how she was determined to find out! I loved how the author, Mary Downing Hahn, wrote in descriptive detail and added interesting dialogue to the story. I enjoyed reading about the many characters like Mrs. Cooper, the wicked landlord, Kristi, Ashley's friend, and all the other character in the story.
My favorite part in the book would have to be when Ashley had the courage to talk back to Mrs. Cooper. Ashley finally showed Mrs. Cooper that she could also be fierce. "How could you be so mean? I asked Louisa was an Orphan, and she was sick." Mrs.Read more ›
This book is about Two girls about 11 or summin like that who explore throughout this rosebushes garden in which they aren't suppose to go in and the girls find a buried doll which mysteriously leads them into a ghostly world where everything is different. read this book NOW because it is absolutly excellent.
In this book, Ashley and her mother move to a house in the suburbs to begin a new life after the death of Ashley's father. The house they move to is a portion of a larger house owned by a cranky older lady (Miss Cooper) who constantly threatens to throw them out. Miss Cooper is particularly after Ashley, who wanders off to explore the garden around the house. During one of her explorations, Ashley and a younger neighbor discover a buried antique doll and Miss Cooper's buried source of regret. Ashley challenges Miss Cooper's crankiness in order to return the doll to its orginal owner and learns about making peace with people who have died.
I enjoyed this story for the fantasy element. Well written characters drew me into the story, and didn't make the fantasy seem too unrealistic. I also really liked the realistic discussion of feelings that occur when someone you love/are close to dies. This multilayered gem is worth the purchase price for interested readers.
Most recent customer reviews
Received order quick and all books came together...bonus!!Published 14 months ago by Catherine Trudell
This book is one of my favorite book i give it 5 stars because it shows that some people may be hiding because for some reason like Carrie for example. Read morePublished on Oct. 4 2005 by elliza
Another well-crafted ghost story from Mary Downing Hahn, this book follows the adventures of Ashley, who moves into a rented appartment and starts exploring the overgrown garden. Read morePublished on July 4 2004 by Megan
Mary Downing Hahn was my favorite author when I was in middle school. I am now a 24-year-old graduate student who recently read a few of them again. Read morePublished on March 9 2004
Ten-year-old Ashley, the main character, followed a beautiful white cat, which reminded her of her own cat, into Mrs. Coopers enchanted garden. Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2003 by daniel yang
i really like this book beacause it will get u all hooked up in it. iph u havent read it b4 u've got 2. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2003
I am nine years old and this is the first Mary Downing Hahn book I have read. It is one of my favorite books written by her. Read morePublished on June 17 2002
The book "The doll in the garden" is an exciting and suspenseful story. The ghost story, written by Mary Downing Hahn, will certainly keep reader gripped and interested. Read morePublished on April 18 2002