Review Blog

Nov 02 2012

The ghost at the point by Charlotte Calder

cover image

Walker Books Australia, 2012. ISBN 1 921977 73 3
(Ages: 9+) Recommended. Australian historical novel. Sorrie lives with her grandfather at the point near Jasper's Cove on the island just a few miles from the mainland. Since the Depression Gah has left his job in the town to fish for a living, and he hopes to save enough money to buy Dorrie some new shoes. While walking the streets selling their fish one evening, a pair of tourists stop them asking questions about Gah's sister's stories about a treasure buried on the island. Gah is dismissive and walks off home but Dorrie is intrigued and wants to ask further questions. On her return she spots the image of a boy about her age in the trees along the road and so becomes more intrigued with her aunt's stories about a ghost in the house.
The point has seen many wrecks and one night a small steamer is hurled on the rocks with four bodies found the next morning. The next time Dorrie sees him, she realises that this is no ghost, but a boy, and trying to speak to him, finds he has no English. But Gah is in hospital so the two find themselves surviving in the house alone. Things hot up when intruders invade their solitary lives.
This is a gentle, involving story of Dorrie and her grandfather finding something more than they bargained for in their isolated outpost. Linked firmly with the stormy seas, the remoteness of the island and its inhabitants all create a tightly controlled setting in which events such as these could credibly occur. Dorrie is an inviting character, one whom readers will take to heart as she tries to hide the boy and survive, hiding from the authorities and her relatives when they come searching and later wards off the intruders. An adventure story with heart.
Fran Knight

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