The Turning: Book Review.


Recently, critically acclaimed author Francine Prose visited our town and school. For me, writing is something that always seemed interesting, so I went and heard her speak. She portrayed a calm, wise, and open persona. Despite the reputation that preceded her and her apparent professionalism, I felt inclined to actually read one of her books myself, just to see if she could actually write. I settled on a new, young adult, fiction horror novel called “The Turning.”

The book turned out to be quite a good and quick read. I had never read a horror book so I didn’t know what to expect. How scary is it supposed to be? When does it start picking up pace? Does the main character die a gruesome death?

The story is a series of letter between the main character “Jack” to his girlfriend and his dad. Jack wants to go to the same college as his girlfriend, but he doesn’t have enough money. So he takes an unusual and high paying summer job. He goes off to a remote island to babysit two unique and strange children. These children have been brought up with minimal interaction to the outside world. Their parents died several years ago and their uncle opted to raise them without any modern entertainment.  On his ferry ride over to the island, he learns of several ominous stories surrounding the island and notices several bad omens and starts becoming uneasy. Upon arriving on the mysterious island, he is greeted by their cook, the only other adult on the island, and the children, Flora and Miles. It is clear that these children are slightly odd and secretive, but Jack brushes this off and ignores it all. The Book starts picking up pace in the second half, and after that you’ll read it faster than you thought was possible. She ended this book like most of her others: With a vague and unresolved ending.

The book did have a few problems. Jack and his girlfriend seemed artificial because you only knew them in the letters that they sent to each other, which were pretty formal. You didn’t get to know them as they would explain themselves to you, like you would in a first person story, or  how they would be described by a narrator in a third person story..

Overall it was a good book and a fast and entertaining read. It was a little slow in the beginning, but it picked up its pace later. I have never read a book faster than I did in the latter parts of this book.

I would rate it a 3/5.