Sunday, October 25, 2015

Phyllis Whitney Samurai Sword and Haunted Pool

In Secret of the Samurai Sword, Celia and Stephen Bronson spend the summer in Japan with their grandmother.  The ghost of a samurai walks in their garden.  The samurai is said to be the ghost of an ancestor of their neighbors.  Celia soon learns that a samurai sword is missing, and she sets out to find it.

This book caught my interest from the very first page.

I learned several things about the culture of Japan.  Some of the content was too much for me, but I overall greatly enjoyed the book.

In Mystery of the Haunted Pool, Susan Price stays with Aunt Edith, who is trying to finalize a deal that will allow Susan's family to purchase Captain Dan's house.  Captain Dan's grandson, Gene, does not want to lose his home, and he is determined to do whatever he can to block the sale.

Gene wants to keep his home, yet Susan wants to live in his home.  Both sides are compelling, which makes this book interesting.  However, I found the premise slightly distasteful.  Normally I am on the side of the protagonists, but this time, I felt more for Captain Dan and Gene and how Gene feels about the prospect of losing his home.  To me, Aunt Edith and Susan come across as opportunists.  They must get a home near where Susan's father grew up, so they move in on Captain Dan and his home.

Gene and his grandfather move out of the house so that Aunt Edith and Susan can rent it.  Susan takes Gene's room and immediately makes changes, which I found disrespectful.  I was relieved, however, when it becomes apparent later that Susan does feel bad about taking his room.  But even at that, Susan changes things in Gene's room like it is given that she will be staying in the house for a long time.

I've been in a position where people have tried to pressure me into selling them books that I own.  It's not pleasant.  Some people are bullies who try to wear others down into doing what they want.  That's how I feel about Aunt Edith and Susan trying to buy the house without caring that the family does not really want to sell the house.

This is an excellent book, and I greatly enjoyed it.

1 comment:

Homeschool Mom said...

Thank you for this post. I read The Haunted Pool some time ago.
I love the fact that you are reviewing these Phyllis Whitney titles--
I hope she will be rediscovered by this generation.