Title: The Bewitching of Alison Allbright
Author: Alan Davidson
Year published: 2012 (re-published digitally)
Publisher: Straw Hat eBook Collectables
Number of pages: 160
Recommended age: 10+
Daughter Rating: ★★★★★
Grown-up Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewed by: Renee and Danielle (Mother and Daughter)
Summary (from Amazon): Alison Allbright has always sought refuge in day dreams – of having a glamorous mother and a lovely home, of being an exciting person, of doing all the things that the others at high school do – and more. When Mrs Considine appears, spinning her amazing web of fantasy and making those dreams come true, Alison is completely bewitched….until she discovers the catch.
First publication in e-book of Alan Davidson’s modern classic.
What it’s about: This book is about a girl who named Alison who doesn’t like her life and wants a really rich life after she meets the mysterious and rich Mrs. Considine.
What I liked and disliked about it: I liked that the story was very mysterious and you never knew what was going to happen next. Even though I tried guessing what would happen, it didn’t really turn out that way. It was more extreme. Only one time I guessed what would happen and that was something extreme that did happen. At first, I thought the book was going to be really boring and I didn’t want to read it, but then, I didn’t want to put it down. It was awesome reading this book!
I didn’t really like that Alison chose to leave her life as a not rich family and went to live as a rich girl with Mrs. Considine. I don’t believe that having lots of money is what makes you rich. What makes you rich is family and friends. That was an important lesson in the book for people who don’t know that money doesn’t make you rich.
Even if at the start of the book Alison is mean to her friends, leaves her family, and lives with a rich stranger who is really dangerous, at the end she learns that she should just be herself.
My bottom line: This book was very interesting and I loved it. I would highly recommend it to girls and boys 10 years and older.
What it’s about: The Bewitching of Alison Allbright tells the spellbinding tale of a friendless adolescent girl, Alison, who feels shunned and bullied by her peers at school. Alison’s life changes dramatically when she meets Mrs. Considine, a rich and well-respected woman who harbours a terrible secret. Alison slowly succumbs to Mrs. Considine’s charms and the offer of a rich and fabulous lifestyle, but what will happen when Alison uncovers her dark secret and Alison finds herself completely bewitched?
What I liked and disliked about it: Thank you to Straw Hat (publisher) for their genius in re-introducing classic books as affordable e-books for a new generation to enjoy. Bravo!
After reading so many fabulous books steeped in mysticism, fantasy, and folklore, of late (e.g., The Golden Scarab, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, Magic Molly, and Witch Sticker Ball), it was quite the change of pace to read a book that builds suspense and intrigue without any elements of the supernatural or fantasy. And this book really delivers through its intricate plot, its outstanding character development, and its memorable climax. This page is a page-turner from start to finish with writing at its finest.
Aside from the completely engaging story, there are a number of important lessons to be learned through this book, as aptly put by my daughter above. We are introduced to Alison at the beginning of the book as a teen-aged girl who is a bit of a misfit. She jumps on the chance to assume another identity – one of a girl who is rich and popular. Through this journey, she learns alot about herself and by the end accepts that ultimately she is better off just being herself, taking responsibility for her own role in why her past relationships had problems, and appreciating the family that she does have.
My daughter and I read the book concurrently on our e-readers. I eventually got ahead of her to the climatic ending. I can’t say that I saw the ending coming and we were both shocked with the ending. I think that given the mature themes of the book, I would say in retrospect that I probably would not have let my 9 year old read this book. Perhaps it’s just me wanting to keep my little girl innocent, but I think the ending was a bit shocking. Then, the whole notion of the bewitching and, let’s call it what it really is, MANIPULATION, of Alison might be a bit advanced for some younger tweens to grasp. Ok, ok, I want to keep my daughter innocent for as long as possible – there, I said it!
My bottom line: At the end of the day, I have to put on two different hats. As a grown-up, I personally really enjoyed this book. As a parent, I have to say that the book is a bit intense and suspenseful. However, in comparison to a book like The Hunger Games, I guess it’s not so bad. For this reason, I would only recommend this book to older tweens and teenagers (10+).
*The Bewitching of Alison Allbright was provided to us free-of-charge by the publisher in exchange for our honest opinion.*
I shared this post at the Cozy Book Hop hosted by The Reading List.
A Bit About Straw Hat eBook Collectables:
The purpose of Straw Hat’s programme is to re-publish well loved English classics for pre-teens [ages 9 – 13], mainly from the 1980s, which on the whole have fallen out of print, to be enjoyed by a new generation of ebook readers. Here are some of the other books offered by Straw Hat:
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