The Wish House

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-08-22
  • Publisher: Candlewick
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Richard has hung out at the abandoned house in the woods during his summer vacation for as long as he can remember. But this year, he discovers that a family has moved in. The father, J. A. Dalton, is an internationally renowned artist who insists on painting Richard' s portrait, while Dalton' s wife draws the boy into her circle as though he were one of the family' s bohemian adult friends. But it is their beautiful daughter, Clio, with whom Richard becomes obsessed. Soon he finds ways to spend days and nights with Clio, all the while struggling to understand and fit in with her eccentric clan. How can he know that some mysteries are best left unsolved and that the passions of a single summer will change his life forever?

Author Biography

CELIA REES has written many acclaimed novels for young adults, including WITCH CHILD and its sequel, SORCERESS. Of THE WISH HOUSE, she says, "Everyone has special places, special summers, special people, combined into times they will never forget. Fiction allows the writer to use such times, such places, such people and to blend them
together into a story. The Wish House is not one place; it is several. The people who live there are fictional, but the events that happen are archetypal: first love, first sex, first experience with death." Celia Rees
lives in Warwickshire, England.


He froze in mid-step, intensely aware of his own paleness encased in hairy wool and khaki. He had not expected anyone to be here when he mounted the worn steps up to the garden. The big gray stone house had been deserted when he had come here with Dylan last summer. It had been empty for years and had become one of their special places, where they went to play and explore. It was called the Wish House, Dylan told him, because the trees around it seemed to be in constant motion. Even on a day as still as this, they seemed to whisper, "I wish . . . I wish . . ." It gave the house an extra creepiness that added spice to their visits. The sound was there now, mixed in with thinsounding, slightly discordant music made by stringed instruments and a drum. That was what had made Richard mount the steps, thinking he’d discovered something genuinely mysterious — until he saw this woman.

He tried to look away, but he couldn’t shift his focus. He held his
hand up, as if to ward off the vision or to block it out of his own line of
sight. He reached behind as though to steady himself on the warm lichen-embossed wall. He was beginning to sweat. He felt the dampness creeping through his hair, the beads break out on his forehead and upper lip.Should he go on? Should he go back? He did not know what to do.

The decision was made for him.

The woman rose up on one elbow, squinting at him, shading her eyes
against the strong sun shining from behind him, the glare oflight shimmering up from the sea.

"Well, hello there. And who are you?"


THE WISH HOUSE by Celia Rees. Copyright © 2006 by Celia Rees. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.

Excerpted from The Wish House by Celia Rees
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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