And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt's home, it's immediately clear that the "blood manor" is cursed. The creaking of the house and the stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too--the questions that Silla can't ignore: Who is the beautiful boy that's appeared from the woods? Who is the man that her little sister sees, but no one else? And why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer?
Fourteen-year-old Presilla "Silla" Daniels leaves her troubled London home with her four-year-old sister Eleanor "Nori" (who doesn't speak) to live with an aunt they've never met who lives far away in the country.
Seeking refuge from their abusive father they arrive at La Baume, her mother's childhood home - a house painted the color of blood. Inside they meet their aunt, Catherine "Cath."
From the first night they spend at La Baume, Silla thinks there's something not quite right about the house. Aunt Cath is friendly enough and she tries her best to make the girls feel welcomed and loved. Everything is going along fine... until it isn't.
Soon the mansion becomes a nightmare; Aunt Cath goes up to the attic and doesn't come down leaving Silla and Nori to fend for themselves. Three years pass and everything withers and dies, food is scarce, and the trees around the house seem to be getting closer. Silla begins to lose hope. Is this terrible turn of events being caused by the Creeper Man who lurks in the woods Aunt Cath told them not to go into?
Everything begins to change when an attractive young man named Gowan arrives. He claims to have been one of the orphans Aunt Cath took in when La Baume served as an orphanage but is Gowan telling the truth? Nori takes to him immediately but Silla is cautious. Why does Gowan keep trying to get her and Nori to leave the house? Will Silla accept Gowan's help? Can Silla get to the bottom of what's going on at La Baume before the Creeper Man gets her and Nori? Is any of it even real?
And The Trees Crept In is an AMAZING read! I loved it a million times more than I liked The Dead House. Where The Dead House gave me a creepy feeling, And The Trees Crept In wove an intense mystery I wanted to unravel. Yes, there were scary scenes but it was more psychological than gory.
Dawn Kurtagich is a wonderful horror writer. She leaves you gasping for more as you find yourself unable to put the book down, even in the wee hours of the morning when you're afraid that if you close your eyes for even a minute the trees will start closing in on you. I fell in love with the characters and the end was... I don't want to say beautiful? romantic? hopeful?... although it was in a way. My heart ached the most for Gowan, especially when you find out the whole story.
Overall, I thought this book was perfect and I wouldn't change anything about it.
5 of 5 Stars