- Also check our best rated Children’s Book reviews
The Wicked, Wicked Ladies in the Haunted House Paperback – 9 Aug 2005
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From the Inside Flap
Maureen Swanson is the scourge of the neighborhood. At age nine, she already has a reputation as a hard slapper, a loud laugher, a liar, and a stay-after-schooler. The other kids call her Stinky. So sometimes when Maureen passes the crumbling (and haunted?) Messerman mansion, she imagines that she is Maureen Messermanrich, privileged, and powerful. Then she finds a way into the forbidden, boarded-up house. In the hall are portraits of seven young women wearing elaborate gowns and haughty expressions. Maureen has something scathing to say to each one, but then she notices that the figures seem to have shifted in their frames. So she reaches out her finger to touch the paintjust to make sureand touches . . . silk! These seven daughters of privilege are colder and meaner than Maureen ever thought to be. They are wicked, wicked ladies, and Maureen has something they want. . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Mary Chase was a newspaper reporter, playwright, and novelist. Her best-known play, Harvey, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Some of the books I read as a child have not held up, but this one certainly does. I also learned by reading the author's bio that she wrote the play on which the famous Jimmy Stewart movie "Harvey" is based, which I thought was pretty cool.
I also must take issue with the notion that the story is shallow. It is certainly profound, at least profound enough for the target age group. It certainly addresses the wickedness of selfishness and vanity, to the degree that Maureen finally sees what a terrible person she could become, and realizes she doesn't like that: she repents and reforms.
I am particularly intrigued by the character of the leprechaun, called "The Leaper." I believe he is the type of character known to folklore as "the trickster," someone who is not necessarily good or evil, but who provides the means by which certain story elements play out. Often a catalyst, in the sense that he is not himself touched by the story. The most famous trickster in American story is Brer Rabbit from the Uncle Remus stories (although he is himself definitely a participant.) Interestingly, Rabbit's nemesis, the fox, is the usual European trickster animal. Another famous iteration is Uncle Drosslemeyer in "The Nutcracker," the mysterious character who is the source of Clara's magical adventure: just as The Leaper's stolen bag of tricks is what brings Maureen back to the 19th century. And, in perfect Trickster character, at one point he "hides" in plain sight from the eyes of modern police by simply sitting still and appearing to be a statue. Wow. Enough of a digression, sorry!
Bottom line -- wonderful engaging story! Very highly recommended. As I note, this really scared me when I first read it, so know your audience!
Last thought, someone else mentioned this not too far below, but it's worth repeating -- this was written by the woman who wrote "Harvey," which became the famous Jimmy Stewart movie "starring" a giant invisible rabbit. ("He's a pooka.")