A young girl who has lost her father finds herself at the mercy of a mysterious woman who is not quite what she seems in this atmospheric and unputdownable novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Flowers in the Attic series turned into popular Lifetime movies.
Left on a train platform in an unfamiliar village, little Saffron Faith Anders is certain her father will return shortly, just like he promised. She holds out hope even as the hours pass and the station grows dark. When a strange old woman with a large umbrella approaches and inquiries about her situation, Saffron doesn’t immediately trust the imposing do-gooder, but with the chances of her father returning growing ever slimmer, she agrees to rest at the old woman’s house.
Her stay was supposed to be for a few minutes, hours at most, but soon, Saffron soon realizes she has been confined to a house of dark secrets and is now at the mercy of the enigmatic Umbrella Lady. One minute grandmotherly and the next wickedly cruel, she shears Saffron’s hair, burns all the clothes she had in her suitcase, and pretends that the photo of a young girl hanging on her bedroom wall is no one in particular. When strange letters arrive from Saffron’s father, claiming that he will send for her shortly, hope returns to her young heart. But Saffron soon discovers that those who claim to love you will often hurt you the most....
In this unremarkable series launch from the Andrews franchise (Flowers in the Attic, etc.), Derek Anders tells his eight-year-old daughter, Saffron, they're moving to a new town after Saffron's mother dies in a fire that destroys the family's house. In the middle of their trip, Derek leaves Saffron at a train station, where many hours later Mazy Dazy, a retired schoolteacher, shows up and convinces Saffron to come home with her to wait for her father. Eerily, Mazy's house has a little girl's bedroom and clothes that fit Saffron perfectly. As days turn into years and Saffron and Mazy grow closer, Saffron gives up hope her father will return. On occasion, Mazy shows Saffron typed letters she says are from Derek, but he always make excuses for why he isn't ready for Saffron yet. Whether Mazy is lying to Saffron about Derek provides some mild suspense. Those looking for fast and simple escape reading will be satisfied.