This is just a book review of the book The House on the Gulf. It has a summary, a personal review, and recommendations. If you like the book, go get it!
Courtesy of Amazon.com
Background Info: This book takes place in present day Florida. They story is told from Britt’s point of view.
Summary: Britt’s older brother Bran gets a summer job house sitting and mowing lawn for the Marquises (family name) in Florida. Britt’s family-Bran and her mom, get to move into the home in the summer. This is great for their family, they get live in a house for free, they get paid for mowing lawns, and their mom gets to finish college. But as Britt lives in the house, she feels really suspicious of Bran. He doesn’t let anyone touch the Marquises plates and silver ware or turn up the thermostat. He wraps up all their antiques in bubble wrap and stores everything in boxes.
As Britt is trying to find out what Bran is up to, she tries to find a babysitting job. She doesn’t find any,but meets this elderly woman name Mrs. Stuldy. The two of them talk about their lives and become acquaintances. Later, Britt finds Bran’s keys and unlocks his bedroom, finding the boxes he had packed earlier. In the boxes, she finds pictures of the Marquises’, but she notices that the photo album says Marcus Family Memories, not Marquise. This makes Britt even more suspicious and makes her want to find out what is going on. Britt looks through her mom’s drawers and finds her high school diploma. She never knew her mother’s maiden name, but it turns out to be Rebecca Jane Marcus. She realizes that the last name is the same as the pictures she found earlier. Britt questions Bran, and he finally spills the beans, telling Britt that Mr. and Mrs. Marcus are their mom’s parents.
Bran explains everything to Britt. Then, Britt realizes that the Marcuses don’t know they’re living in their house. All Bran told the Marcuses was that he was going to mow their lawn over the summer, not live in their house. When Britt hears this, she wants to tell mom, but Bran told her not to. Britt is still trying to consume all that Bran has told her. She feels like she needs to do something about it. She talks to Mrs. Stuldy and looks at more family pictures of the Marcuses, thinking to herself that those people were part of her family.
The next day, Britt talks to Mrs. Stuldy and asks her about Mr. Marcus and how her was doing. Mrs. Stuldy told her that he had died. Hearing this, Britt bursts into tears and leaves to go tell Bran. Bran tells her to go back to Mrs. Stuldy to keep up on updates, in case something new happens. At Mrs. Stuldy’s, Britt cries and prays for the Marcuses.
Later, after Bran got off work, their mom asked them to go the beach and tan. Just when they were about to leave, Mrs. Marcus shows up at the front door. Mrs. Marcus freaks out, and they try to calm her down so she won’t call the police. Britt’s mom asks Bran what is going on. Bran explains everything that happened, how he tracked his grandparents (the Marcuses) and how he found this house. Then, their mom whispers to him that he found the wrong people. They weren’t their grandparents. They were different people with the same last name. The wrong Marcuses.
After lots of explanation from their mom, they head to Mrs. Stuldy’s house, where they find Mrs. Marcus again. They figure things out and Mrs. Marcus does not call the police. She tells Britt’s family to move their stuff out of her house. Fortunately, Mrs. Stuldy was kind enough to let the three of them stay in her house, due to the extra rooms. They stay in Mrs. Stuldy’s home for the rest of the summer as their mom finishes college. At the end, Britt writes a letter to her real grandparents telling them about herself. She thinks of the future, telling her children about the story of this summer.
Review: This book was a pretty good book. The beginning of the book draws you in, making you feel suspicious just like Britt. Every time Bran would do or say something strange, I felt like something weird was happening. Though there wasn’t much action in the story during the beginning, Britt’s thoughts makes me want to find out. I enjoyed reading the book because Britt would make new discoveries about Bran. I liked how it was a mystery book, not just a realistic fiction book. Parts that I didn’t enjoy much was when Britt talked to Mrs. Stuldy. These parts was just casual dialogue, nothing really important to the mystery. But some conversations were more interesting then others.
When Britt finally found out what was going on, I was also shocked. The built up more suspense. I started wondering questions like, “What is going to happen?” and “What are they going to do?” After this major event, the story got more boring. It was just how Britt was sad and how she was looking at the Marcuses pictures. I didn’t really enjoy the book until Mrs. Marcus showed up at the door. This part was my favorite part. Throughout the end of the book, their was a lot of explanation which I found was very interesting.
The author did a good job at the falling action. It wasn’t full of action, but it was a good way to end the book. I did not particularly like the end. I felt as if the author could have made a sequel to the story because I didn’t want the story to just end there. But overall, this book was pretty good and I would give it a 4/5. Great mystery book.
Recommendation: I strongly recommend this book to mystery lovers. This book is really realistic, so if you like realistic fiction, this is also for you. The book isn’t that long, so if you don’t like long books, this is pretty good for you. I think even if non of these categories fit you, you should still read this book.
- Copyright date:2004
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
- Pages: 208
- Link to author’s webpage: http://www.haddixbooks.com/