I’m not often at a loss for words, but I have to say–reading Nine Open Arms was an odd experience. The description inside the front cover made it sound totally like my thing; a family moves to an isolated house and learns about its previous owners’ history as well as its own. (Okay, that wasn’t the best description, but it works.) And it wasn’t exactly not my thing. It was just, well…a bit different.
Really, I think that most of the difference was cultural, just as the slightly different writing style was the result of being translated from Dutch into English. The story was interesting and read fairly easily, and while I felt slightly removed from the characters, I was certainly invested in them. I rather liked the story telling feel of it, and the way the author dealt with the two time periods worked pretty well for me. My only real issue is that our library shelves the book in juvenile fiction–and Amazon thinks it’s for “Grade 3 and up”, or “Age 9 and up.”
I am violently opposed to censorship, folks, and I absolutely believe my library should continue to carry this book, but I have a 9-year-old. There’s an attempted sexual assault in this book; there are also some wildly adult dilemmas and situations. Why on EARTH this isn’t shelved in Young Adult is beyond me. I’m not offended by it, I’m not scared of it, I’m not angered by it–it’s a good book. It is NOT, however, appropriate for a 9-year-old.
Okay, rant over. And the bottom line? It’s a little different, but I liked it; I think it’s worth reading.
Just pretend that the listed age range reads “Age 12 and up” instead.