Book Review, MG Fiction (8 - 12 year olds)

The Mask of Aribella by Anna Hoghton

I first fell in love with the mysteries of Venice many, many years ago. As a child, I listened to the audio book “Vivaldi’s Ring of Mysteries” with gondolas, masks, music and the Island of the Dead. In 2017, I was so fortunate to visit this floating city myself. I was enchanted by the maze-like back streets, wonderful canals, hundreds of bridges, the grand Piazza San Marco and the many unique islands. I was captivated by the beautiful lace of Burano and the incredible glass of Murano.  Venice holds a magic that captures your soul. I can’t wait until I can return to explore it again.

As I stepped into the first pages of The Mask Aribella, I was immediately swept into the wonders of Venice once more. I could picture every setting, the landmarks jumping off the page and into my imagination. Having already been to Venice meant I felt like I was there with Aribella. It was wonderful to explore the city again through her eyes.

This story is full of magic. The omens, spirits and superstitions create a feeling of unease as Aribella approaches her 13th birthday and events that will change her life forever. When something strange happens to her fingertips, she is left with a thousand questions and is frightened of what will happen next. The rooftops seem to be whispering secrets to one another. The appearance of a mysterious masked man leads her into the unknown. All her life, she felt as if she was waiting for something to happen – maybe this is it…

When Aribella finds herself outside a strange, abandoned palazzo, she has no choice but to step inside and discover her future. Will she learn to trust in herself and the power of friendship to discover where she truly belongs?

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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