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{November 20, 2013}   {Review} The Hermitage House Miracle by Malcolm Ater

9781470129361_p0_v1_s260x420From Goodreads: The Hermitage House Miracle starts with a deep hook. “I’ve given you the last six years of my life, and for what? To always be running from one town to another? Never having a life of my own just so you could live?”

As Jamie lay alone in bed, not knowing his mother had just been killed while driving drunk, he was filled with disturbing thoughts. His mother’s last words to him before going out did not make sense. He was even more confused when she had added, in a drunken slur, “If I had a lick of sense I’d have let old Ernie do what he wanted!”

Why had his mother said she had given him the last six years of her life when he was twelve years old?

After being sent to live at the Hermitage House for Children, Jamie begins to have a series of strange and troubling dreams. Each dream is about a little blond-haired boy who has a little sister and a mother and a father. But the mother is not his mother who was killed in the car accident and he had never known his father. Yet his dreams are always about the same family, especially the little boy and his dog. And the father programs computers and makes games, even promising to build the boy a video game so lifelike the boy will think he’s actually inside it…

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This is a novel that seems extremely realistic and true to life, but then takes on aspects of fantasy and the paranormal, giving it an edge that can be a bit jarring should readers not be ready for it.  And yet, it’s a very well written story that warms the heart as it unfolds.  Jamie, now living in an orphanage, only remembers the past six years of his life, but as he begins to make friends and interact with others, a luxury he hadn’t known while his mother was alive, he begins to piece together his life through his vivid dreams and a video game that mysteriously appears in the arcade.

And as it unfolds, readers learn the truth behind Jamie’s lack of memories, behind the dog howling on the wind, and about his mother.  A quick read, this novel will leave you hugging your children close as you realize Jamie’s reality and note that the bond between parent and child remains long after the line is cut.  Three stars.

3 stars

Acorn Book Services has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read this novel, via Netgalley.

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