House of Many Shadows by Barbara Michaels
New York : Dodd, Mead & Co., 1974. First Edition. Hardcover. 244 pages ; 21 cm. $6.95 dust jacket unclipped. Very good copy with original dust jacket, unmarked pages and square binding.
The half-grown moon, high in the sky, cast a thin light over the lawn. The shadows it made were faint; but those other shadows were not the products of moonlight. Tall, columnar shapes of blackness, they hovered in the wider, paler shadow of the big oak. The horror emanated from them, whatever they were —and Meg thought she knew what they were.
IT WOULD TAKE TIME FOR HER TO Recover from the head injuries, the doctor told Meg Rittenhouse. Her healthy young body had healed, but her mind still played tricks on her, and the hallucinations—both auditory and visual—would go away only gradually.
Meg's cousin, Sylvia, told her she was lucky she hadn't been killed when the car hit her, but Meg found that cold comfort. However, she had no choice except to swallow her pride and accept Sylvia's offer—six months of peace and rest in the old house that Sylvia had inherited though never used.
The change of scene did not stop the hallucinations, but Meg had not expected it to. Then, they became terrifying; because Andy Brenner, Sylvia's stepson and caretaker, saw them too. And he had not been injured.
Thus, with quiet step-by-step involvement, Barbara Michaels leads us from the known world into the unknown. Where with dizzying momentum, we are willfully drawn with Meg and Andy into a desperate search for an explanation. Discoveries of long-hidden mementos in the attic of the old house, local legend and gossip, and frightening glimpses of an age long past pile on each other, giving hints of a secret so horrifying that it will not remain buried. And offering flashes of forces so powerful that Andy and Meg are in danger of losing not only their sanity, but their lives.
Only Barbara Michaels—author of WITCH and THE DARK ON THE OTHER SIDE—could make it so convincing and exciting.
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