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Gallows Hill (Laurel-Leaf Books) by Lois…

Gallows Hill (Laurel-Leaf Books)

by Lois Duncan

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Enjoyable YA novel examining reincarnation and the Salem Witch Trials. ( )
  daniellnic | Sep 24, 2013 |
Very good story and very well told. My second Lois Duncan and I think I'm going to make a habit of her for a while. I very much enjoyed the style of her writing as well as the story.

It's not complex or challenging to read but there wasn't a second during which it failed to hold high interest for me. I'm very fond of stories that have their origins in the Salem witch trials and speculate on reality and blur the line between what may or may not be true. Or extend the Salem experience across time and portray an effect on the present, many generations after the fact, which is what Gallows Hill does. The history was accurately and unobtrusively interspersed through the story. I found the idea of en masse karmic fulfillment interesting. The effect of the forces that were driving the characters was an excellent justification for the otherwise perhaps maddening actions of a couple of the secondary characters. I had a good emotional connection with the main character and the dialogue and interactions were more believable than in many things that i've read. There was just so much that was good about this. I can't wait to share this. ( )
  Yona | May 2, 2013 |
Sarah Zoltanne was unhappy to leave her home in California, and she dislikes the man her mother wishes to marry. However, homesickness is not the only danger awaiting her in Gallows Hill, MIssouri, where the community church runs the town and deviants are silenced. After being chosen to play a fortune teller at the school Halloween fair, big man on campus Eric Garret convinces her to do it after school to earn money, splitting the proceeds between her, himself, and Sarah's soon to be stepsister Kyria, who provides the content through gossip. Their scheme becomes dangerous as members of the school begin taking on the roles of Salem townspeople during the witch trials. While Duncan's novel begins on an interesting note, it takes a dive about half-way through as it tries to show how Salem's witches were reincarnated. According to Duncan, Sarah's mother only fell in love with Kyria's father to satisfy karma, and as soon as karma is satisfied she abruptly returns to California. The ending is also sudden and full of loose ends. While I am a fantasy lover, this offering by Duncan does not make sense, even on its own terms.

Awards: The Tennessee School Librarians Association Volunteer State Book Award for 2000-2001; 1998 Quick Pick for ALA's reluctant reader award ( )
  saraherndon | Apr 30, 2010 |
Sarah and Rosemary, her mom, have just moved to Pine Crest from California where Sarah had the greatest life - friends, the beach, always something to do. With nothing to do, Sarah is convinced to become a gypsy for a school event from the most popular guy in school, Eric and her soon to be step-sister Kyra. What Sarah doesn't know is, Eric has other plans in mind than just a one night event.
  Luv4Duckies | Apr 29, 2010 |

When Sarah is forced to leave her friends and school behind to move with her mother from California to a small town in Missouri, she wonders if she’ll ever survive it. But when strange things start to happen – Sarah’s visions of the past and future, a dead crow left in her school locker, and memories and events reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials – she begins to wonder if she truly will survive it.

Though a bit implausible, Duncan weaves a story of suspense and mystery that will keep the teen reader interested to the end. Sarah struggles with making friends in a new town, getting her formerly responsive mother to hear her, and understanding this new “power” of divination that she seems to now have. Historical references to the Salem witch trials and reincarnation might spur the reader to delve into other research after reading this book.

ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (1998)
  MWFforJ757 | Apr 24, 2010 |
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Prologue - The crystal paperweight should have been clear, but it was not. The man who had cast it was bewildered.
Chapter One - The first time Sarah Zoltanne saw Eric Garrett, he was standing out by the flagpole in front of the school building talking with a group of friends.
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Book description
The crystal paperweight should have been clear, but it was not.
Handsome, popular Eric Garrett decides that Sarah Zoltanne is just the right person to play a fortune-teller at the high-school fair. Sarah is surprised and pleased. After all, she and her mother have only just moved to the small town of Pine Crest. Sarah's role at the fair is all a game; the earphones hidden under her costume are the extent of her supernatural powers. But as Sarah peers into the crystal ball, disturbing images suddenly appear, revealing information she could not possibly know.

When Sarah's visions start coming true, the students believe she's a witch and threaten her. Then Sarah begins to have such vivid dreams about the Salem witch trials that it seems as if she actually lived in Salem more than three hundred years ago.

What is happening in Pine Crest? Sarah knows her life is in danger--can it possibly be true that those who threaten her are seeking revenge from another lifetime?

Lois Duncan is in top form in this harrowing supernatural thriller as she applies her uncanny ability to make her characters--as well as her readers--understand the dark side of human nature and the consequences of vengeance.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440227259, Mass Market Paperback)

Role-playing takes on a terrifying cast when 17-year-old Sarah, who is posing as a fortune-teller for a school fair, begins to see actual visions that can predict the future. Frightened, the other students brand her a witch, setting off a chain of events that mirror the centuries-old Salem witch trials in more ways than one.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:19 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Role playing takes on a terrifying cast when 17-year-old Sarah, who is posing as a fortune-teller for a school fair, begins to see actual visions.

» see all 2 descriptions

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