Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Changeover: review

Laura Chant is a relatively ordinary 14 year old girl, living in a quiet suburb of Christchurch, going to school, and negotiating life with her mother and little brother.

Only Laura’s not quite as ordinary as most girls her age. She has premonitions occasionally – flashes of insights about impending disasters. They’re rare, and Laura can never pinpoint exactly what’s going to go wrong, so when she gets a strong premonition one morning and tells her mother, her fears are dismissed.

Laura can’t put her finger on why she’s experiencing such a heavy feeling of dread, but she knows something bad is going to happen.

The new senior at school -  Sorenson “Sorry” Carlisle is an enigma to everyone, but Laura’s convinced he’s a witch – he’s never said as much, but Laura feels like it’s just something she knows about him.  

When Laura’s little brother Jacko has a more than unsettling encounter with mysterious Carmody Braque, Laura finds herself needing help to bring Jacko back from the brink of death after Braque stamps his hand with a mysterious looking stamp.

As Jacko becomes sicker and sicker, in desperation Laura turns to Sorry and his mysterious mother and grandmother to help bring her little brother back from the brink of death.

The Changeover is a short novel, but it does pack quite the supernatural punch. Laura is a spirited protagonist, who stops at nothing to save her little brother’s life. There are overtones of romance with Sorry (a very strange character) and Laura, and  the … witchiness? Is really well handled as well, being fairly detailed for a book that’s under 290 pages.

Margaret Mahy won the Carnegie Medal in 1984 for The Changeover. It’s a spooky, atmospheric and tense tale, with a lot of detail packed in.

8/10 That movie that you've watched 100 times and you never get tired of


Ana S. said...

Hearts. Another thing I love is what she did here with the family relationships and the tension between Laura and Sorry. Such good characterisation and economic writing.

Maree said...

Yes, I loved the relationship between Laura and her mother, and the tension between Laura and Sorry was really well done. :-)

Kailana said...

Sounds good. I will have to see if I can get a copy. :)