Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Ghost of Follensbee's Folly by Florence Hightower

The Ghost of Follonsbee's Folly by Florence Hightower was first published in 1958 and is 218 pages long.  My copy is a Weekly Reader edition.  I have owned this book for many years.  I picked it up either at a garage sale or thrift store.  I can't remember, but I am so glad that I finally read it.

In The Ghost of Follonsbee's Folly, the Stackpole family moves into an old house that dates from before the Civil War.  The house is in disrepair, and Mr. Stackpole soon discovers that repairing the house is using up all of his money.

The family hears strange noises at night, but they attribute the sounds to the furnace or water pipes needing repair.  Tom befriends a boy named Joe who spends his days near the river.  Joe won't tell Tom where he lives or much of anything about himself, but Joe and Tom quickly become best friends.

Angela the cook is the best character.  On page 28, Angela declares, "Watching the river I knew it wasn't my place to judge others even though I'm nearly always right and they're mostly wrong."

As Mr. Stackpole's plans go awry on page 34, Angela points out, "Man proposeth.  God disposeth."  Angela is wonderful.

On page 74, Elsie and Tom have to feed the twin infants.  Unfortunately, the twins are prone to fits of rage.  Elsie and Tom hit upon the perfect solution:  Make the boys race. The children shove food in the babies' mouths as fast as they can.  "There was no time for displays of temper.  Either they ate their fastest or they strangled."  I couldn't believe it.

The characters are described quite well and have memorable personalities.  The book has lots of humor.  Without giving specific spoilers, the story has the typical series book elements that we love so much.  Parts of the story remind me a little bit of the Nancy Drew books The Hidden Staircase, The Clue of the Tapping Heels, and The Hidden Window Mystery.

This is an excellent book.

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