Mirrorland : a novel / Carole Johnstone.
- ISBN: 1982136359
- ISBN: 9781982136352
- Physical Description: 307 pages ; 24 cm
- Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2021.
Returning to her gothic childhood home in the wake of her estranged twin's disappearance, Cat uncovers long-held secrets involving her sister's left-behind clues and a mysterious treasure hunt.
Cat lives in Los Angeles, far away from the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where she and her estranged twin sister, El, grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. El still lives at their old house, with her husband Ross. When El disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return after twenty years. The grand old house is still full of shadowy corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past-- a past that leads right back to Mirrorland, where she knows the truth lies crouched and waiting. -- adapted from jacket
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|Subject:||Twin sisters > Fiction.
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From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Mirrorland is a childhood fantasy room where Scottish twins Ellice and Catriona, or El and Cat, spend most of their time. It's populated by odd and sometimes disturbing companions, who are more imaginary tormentors than friends. Joining the dysfunctional fray is Ross, the boy next door, who becomes so enmeshed in the twins' world that in the present-day portion of the narrative, he's married to El, who is now missing. Only Cat believes her sister is alive, and, as the pages turn and the past and present and the real and liminal alternate, readers will become as enmeshed as Ross while the girls' two lives--one in the house (a portion of the story that's overly long), the other after they run away--unspool to devastation. Beware: sexual and coercive abuse abound here. But there's more to the book than psychological voyeurism. Johnstone's twisting debut novel stands alone as one to notice, and it's a must for fans of unreliable narrators.
Publishers Weekly Review
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Cat Morgan, the narrator of Johnstone's intriguing if uneven debut, fled Scotland years ago and settled in Los Angeles. When she gets a call from Ross MacAuley, her brother-in-law, informing her that her estranged twin sister, Ellice MacAuley, has gone missing while sailing on the Firth of Forth, she returns home to Edinburgh. Cat stays at the house where she and El grew up and shared an imaginary world they called Mirrorland, a place where they could escape the grim realities of their childhood, which included physical and emotional abuse. Cat decides she must immerse herself once more in Mirrorland if she's to solve the mystery of El's disappearance. Cat's quest is complicated by her belief that El is not dead, her receipt of anonymous notes warning her to leave, and the rekindling of her complex relationship with Ross. Johnstone skillfully juxtaposes Mirrorland against the real world, but El is seen only through Cat's unreliable eyes, and their relationship is so confused that the reader may wonder how much of what Cat says about El is true. This ambitious blend of psychological suspense and horror casts a powerful light on the liberating power of imagination. Agent: Allison Hunter; Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Apr.)