>by Sheila O’Connor
Raine is baffled by her mother’s sudden announcement that they are moving out to an artist’s retreat for the summer. Her mother will be the chef for several artists who are staying in an old estate to create their various forms of art. When they arrive, Raine is horrified by the list of rules – no talking until dinner (except Sundays), no TV, no phone, no internet. What is she supposed to do all day as the only kid on a secluded estate?
As she gets to know the artists and the history of the house, though, even more mysteries pop up. It turns out the estate used to be an orphanage. What happened to all those kids? Why was the attic room locked up with everything exactly as it was when the kids lived there – pictures on the wall and jacks still on the floor? Why is the owner so cold and distant? And perhaps most perplexing – why is her mother so secretive about her trips to town and why is Raine not allowed to go?
With the help of the artists, Raine starts to pull together information and make sense of things. She learns that inspiration really can come out of the silence and even begins to write stories herself. Most importantly, she learns that her mother had a very good reason for moving to Sparrow Road – a reason that will change Raine’s life.
reviewed by Jessica