The Turning by Francine Prose

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A dark house.
An isolated island.
Strange dreams
and even stranger
visions . . .

Jack is spending the summer on a private island far from modern conveniences. No Wi-Fi, no cell service, no one else on the island but a housekeeper and the two very peculiar children in his care. The first time Jack sees the huge black mansion atop a windswept hill, he senses something cold, something more sinister than even the dark house itself.

Soon, he feels terribly isolated and alone. Yet he is not alone. The house has visitors—peering in the windows, staring from across the shore. But why doesn't anyone else see them . . . and what do they want? As secrets are revealed and darker truths surface, Jack desperately struggles to maintain a grip on reality. He knows what he sees, and he isn't crazy. . . . Or is he?

From nationally acclaimed author Francine Prose comes a mind-bending story that will leave you realizing how subtle the lines that separate reality, imagination, and insanity really are.


About Francine Prose

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Francine Prose is the critically acclaimed author of nineteen novels, including the National Book Award Finalist Blue Angel and My New American Life. She has written three other novels for young adults: After, winner of the California Young Reader Medal, an IRA/CBC Young Adults' Choice, and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age; Bullyville, a PW Best Book and Book Sense Children's Pick; and her most recent, Touch. She is also the author of two picture books, Leopold, the Liar of Leipzig and Rhino, Rhino, Sweet Potato. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, Francine Prose was Director's Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She lives in New York City.
Published September 25, 2012 by HarperTeen. 261 pages
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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High school senior Jack has been hired as a professional playmate for two orphaned children who live on their wealthy family’s remote island for the summer.

Jul 18 2012 | Read Full Review of The Turning

Publishers Weekly

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Jack’s growing anxiety, physical decline, and obsession with the female ghost are heavily foreshadowed and clearly expressed through his letters to his girlfriend (which make up the bulk of the narrative), yet it is left for readers to determine how much of what Jack undergoes is real.

Sep 10 2012 | Read Full Review of The Turning


"The Turning" by Francine Prose is a ghost story written as a series of letters from a teenage boy spending a summer on a remote island caring for two orphaned children.

Feb 16 2013 | Read Full Review of The Turning

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Curled Up Kids

However, at its heart, The Turning is a revisiting of Henry Jamess' The Turn of the Screw in which the main character, Jack, descends deeper and deeper into madness.

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