Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
About the Book:
Eleven-year-old Kate Whitby leads an invisible life, the youngest member of her odd family. They live in their historic small-town hotel, where she is an expert at keeping everyone’s secrets: her sister’s a thief, her great-grandmother isn’t as crazy as people think, her mother lives in the past, and her beloved grandfather might have killed his best friend.
Devoted to the people she loves—more than they have ever been to her—Kate vows to protect each one.
Charlie Fuse has lived on the streets since his alcoholic father threw him out. When Charlie’s powerful street family tests his loyalty by demanding that he kill the son of a rival gang leader, he refuses. They frame him for the murder, forcing Charlie to run.
When Kate finds Charlie injured and penniless, she hides him from his enemies and her uncharitable relatives, unaware that he has a connection to her family as old as the hotel itself.
As most of Erin’s books are, this one has a flavor of the supernatural, without really having it in it. Homeless children, gangs, and a crazy bunch of people running a hotel didn’t seem to have much in common until near the end.
Kate was cute. She was unique and I loved her perspective on things. The rest of the characters, I had a harder time relating to, especially in the way they were written out. But the clear word pictures drew me in. I loved the secret passageways, the grandmother among others that were woven throughout.
Overall, this story is about how sometimes parents can neglect their children while taking care of them. They don’t realize how much they are neglecting them at times, in the busy part of life. That is what I took away from it. I need to spend time actually listening to my children as well.