Review Blog

Jul 25 2012

Love notes from Vinegar House by Karen Tayleur

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Black Dog Books, 2012. ISBN 9781742032191
Highly recommended. Mystery and humour abound in Karen Tayleur's beautifully written young adult novel, Love Notes from Vinegar House. Freyer Jackson Kramer is an ordinary girl with a funny name, that's the first thing she will tell you.The second is, she does not believe in ghosts . . . until she is packed off to stay with her grandmother at the spooky Vinegar House for the school holidays. It is here, amongst the foreboding shadows of a house which is yearning to reveal long harboured family secrets that Freyer learns about the tumultuous nature of young love, and its many guises. Tayleur, the author of Six and the David Mortimore Baxter series, has penned an insightful and touching tale, and at its centre, an amiable protagonist which readers aged 10-16 will likely identify with. Love Notes from Vinegar House is bursting with familiar, yet curious and multifarious characters, each of which contribute to Tayleur's delicate exploration of teenage angst, and other themes including bullying, family relationships, love and post-natal depression. With this in mind, Tayleur maintains a reasonable level of suspense, encouraging empathy for her characters, and anticipation for the novel's climax.
Love Notes from Vinegar House is highly recommended for independent reading and as a teaching resource, as its witty and realistic narration will engage male and female students, and it can be comparable to the work of Melina Marchetta and Ann Brashares.
Marni Trevena

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