Shivers and secrets. Even the best of families have them. This
became true of the Chrestman family, Steven, Alyse, and their three children, Holly, Andrew, and Pammy, a toddler, when they
allow a foster child into their home.
Believing they can supply the child, four-year-old Belinda, with a secure
home, love and stability, the Chrestman’s welcome Belinda into their home. Only a short time passes before Holly
finds one of her dolls broken and Belinda cuts Holly’s braids off as Holly sleeps. Pammy, then a toddler, “accidentally”
locks herself in a closet. Belinda’s destructive behavior affects every member of the family.
However, Steven and Alyse clash in their beliefs about Belinda. He
thinks his wife is overreacting, while Alyse continues to find more evil deeds done by Belinda.
The action picks up, events escalate, and Ms. Meredith, the author, skillfully
weaves a nice climax.
Although it took several months, Steven and Alyse understand that the safety
of their family is jeopardized by allowing Belinda to stay in their home. Belinda had turned five by this time, and
social services accepted the child back.
But Belinda’s manipulative behavior reaches to the Chrestman family
even after leaving their home. Steven is accused by Belinda of horrific acts and he is arrested.
Ms. Meredith has done a skillful job of building events upon events.
Cliffhangers can be found at the end of most chapters, enticing the reader to continue reading. The first chapters are
slow even while Ms. Meredith’s talent for physical descriptions is evident. However, the last half of the book
shines as the author carefully builds her characters and events. She thus brings her story to a satisfying climax, utilizing
a creative and strange twist.