Series: The Amber House Trilogy #1
Published by Scholastic Inc. on October 1st 2012
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"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."
Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.
But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.
I had heard of Amber House before, but randomly downloaded it from Audible when they were having a 2 for 1 sale. The narration was well done and I felt myself pulled into the story. I was slightly disappointed when there wasn’t really any ghosts or hauntings, just visions from the past. Also, the two love interests were fairly similar in that I liked them both for different reasons. We had the usual brooding in Jackson, the mixed heritage boy whose family is tied to Amber House from back when they were slaves. Richard is the good-looking son of a senator and is rich and seems really interested in Sarah. I kept waiting for him to pull something on her, but even the scene where he messes up it still paints him a kind light. What I love most is that Sarah loves her little brother Sam, who is autistic and she loves his strange tendencies and embraces him often and plays with him when he asks her to. Their mother is a piece of work and makes Sarah feel less than she is at times with her flippant attitude. Beyond that, the visions in a different time that come to Sarah messed with the story quite a bit and wasn’t as cleanly executed as I would have liked.
A story that pulls in more than just romance, but the importance of family and a haunting history that brings them all together.