Published by Scholastic Inc. on April 29th 2014
From the remarkable imagination of acclaimed artist Jim Di Bartolo and the exquisite pen of bestselling author Kiersten White comes a spellbinding story of love, mystery, and dark conspiracy, told in an alternating narrative of words and pictures.
Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch.
Thomas and Charles are brothers who've been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can't.
I have always enjoyed mixed media books, so when I picked up In the Shadows, I was excited to see a mix of actual text chapters and graphic novel format. The book is about two sets of siblings and another young man who lives with the set of sisters. Set in the past, the young men Thomas and Charles end up staying at a boarding house, where they are to be entertained by the sisters. Charles is the youngest and his health is waning so the girls do their best to have adventures while not overtaxing Charles.
Cora is the older, responsible sister and Minnie is her lively younger sister, who is free with her kisses and has a secret crush on Arthur, their possible relative, but with a mysterious past. Arthur is also a young man and he holds a terrible secret, one which he literally buried in the ground. What happens during the summer is both mysterious and shocking. Probably one of the most harrowing parts of the book was watching the “witch” who lives down the street, hang herself only to have disappeared from the noose an hour later when they get the local police.
The graphic novel portions of the book slowly fall into place as the story is unveiled. I actually went back through all of those sections after the book ended because you find out that that part is somewhat in the future. It was such a beautiful story and full of danger, mystery and some magic. I really fell in love with each of the characters, for their own part in the story and their wants and needs. Minnie is probably my favorite, who loves anything with a mystery and kisses Charles even when her heart is set on Arthur, who is a mystery she has yet to solve.
Highly recommended for lovers of both graphic novels and great stories. A great mix of historical setting, great characters and beautiful illustrations.