The Trolls by Polly Horvath is a warm and funny family tale with surprising depth and hints of melancholy.
Sally is the sister that their dad never talks about, but when Melissa,
Amanda, and Pee Wee Anderson's parents need a babysitter for a week and
the normal one is sick, the children find themselves in the charge of
Aunt Sally, the oddest relative they have ever encountered. Aunt Sally
lets the children dig through her luggage and play with their food, and
she tells them the wildest stories of growing up on magical, mysterious
Vancouver Island. There's the one about Great-Uncle Louis, who came for
two weeks and stayed for six years, and the one about Aunt Hattie's
mysterious romance -- and, of course, the one about the trolls. That
story about the trolls, in fact, might explain a lot about their family
history. But trolls aren't real . . . are they?
Whenever I read a
book by Polly Horvath, I know to expect a bit of weirdness and whimsy,
and this book is no exception. It's a slim volume, but Horvath expertly
weaves Aunt Sally's family stories through the framework of a week in
the lives of the Anderson children. Aunt Sally is just the sort of crazy
aunt that I would like to be, someday -- but I think I'd rather not
encounter the trolls.
(Reviewed from my personally purchased copy.)