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The Witch Returns
Elnora Tuggle’s house on the hill has been rebuilt, and when Lynn meets her new neighbor, she is shocked to be faced with an old woman who is identical in every evil way to the witch who burned with her house in the third book in this series.
In this, the sixth and final volume, readers meet Greta Gullone, who claims to be Mrs. Tuggle’s sister. Lynn quickly realizes, however, that the name is an anagram of the original witch’s name, and she is off, with the help of her insecure friend Mouse, on another terrifying attempt to prevent the dark side from destroying her family and friends. All of the elements are here–uncertainty and fear, threat and terror, a power-hungry witch.
The suitably spooky pencil illustrations draw readers deeper into the spell and contribute to the menacing mood that builds as the story progresses. As pieces of the mystery come together, the personal problems of the characters that have been simmering below the surface throughout this cohesive series come to a rolling boil. The climax to which all six books have led is a powerful scene both visually and emotionally as the bonds of family and friends draw the characters into a position of great strength and morality. Finally, the books show themselves as what they were all along–a struggle between good and evil (one flaw is that the evil is not convincingly motivated, although this doesn’t detract from the ominous sense of danger) and a portrait of the power of family love in whatever shape it may be found.