Ollie Adler has lost her beloved mother and is now trying to retreat from life - she's stopped playing sport, she's got out of the chess club, and she's disengaged from her classmates. She wears her mother's broken watch around her wrist and she hides in books. On her way to her favourite private reading spot near a waterfall, she comes across a woman who is trying to throw a book into the river and snatches the book and runs off with it but not before the woman warns Ollie to avoid large places at night and keep to the small. Ollie goes home and starts reading. The book is about a woman and the two brothers who loved her, one becoming her husband. Both the men vanish in spooky circumstances - where did they go and who is the smiling man that the older brother made a pact with? And when Ollie goes with her class to visit a local farm she comes across information that makes it seem that the book is telling a true story and soon Ollie is relying on her wits to stay safe and to rescue her whole class from meeting the same eternal fate as the brothers.
'Small Spaces' is a spooky and compelling story. The characters are engaging and Ollie is a great main character. She's brave even when she is scared and she stands up for others in a way that endears her to the reader. This is a hard book to put down.
My one quibble is that I wish a bit more time had been spent on the climax - it is skimmed over a bit and ends a little too soon and I think more time could have been spent here to give it a little more impact but that's a very small quibble and not enough to detract from the 5/5 star rating.
After reading this story you will never look at scarecrows in quite the same way ever again. Highly recommended.
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Putnam; 1 edition (18 October 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 052551502X
- ISBN-13: 978-0525515029
- Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 295 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)