The Haunting of Hill House meets Get Out in this chilling YA psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story from New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson!
Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs. Her mom has accepted a new job with the Sterling Foundation that comes with a free house, one that Mari now has to share with her bratty ten-year-old stepsister, Piper.
The renovated picture-perfect home on Maple Street, sitting between dilapidated houses, surrounded by wary neighbors has its . . . secrets. That’s only half the problem: household items vanish, doors open on their own, lights turn off, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there’s a foul smell seeping through the vents only Mari seems to notice. Worse: Piper keeps talking about a friend who wants Mari gone.
But “running from ghosts” is just a metaphor, right?
As the house closes in, Mari learns that the danger isn’t limited to Maple Street. Cedarville has its secrets, too. And secrets always find their way through the cracks.
After being expelled from her Carmel, Calif., high school for drug use, Black former track star Marigold Anderson moves to Detroit-inspired Cedarville with her newly blended, interracial family. To get a new start and recoup the steep cost of Mari's rehab stay, they'll be living rent-free at an artists' residency, in a renovated historic house, while Mari's author mother writes a new book. But when the family arrives, it slowly becomes clear that there's something sinister about the new home and that everybody knows about it but them. As references to systemic ills pile up, it becomes clear that the murderous and racist history of the predominantly Black subdivision is about to rear its furious head. Amid the family's struggle to adapt to the strangely desolate town is Mari's mission to secure a weed connection to help her cope with anxiety and delusional parasitosis. Plot progression is scattered among a number of unresolved threads, and Mari's addiction-induced tunnel vision takes center stage to the detriment of other components, but Jackson delivers multilayered frights in a true horror tradition, peppered with instantly recognizable references to urban legends and internet horror culture. Ages 14 up.