A gripping tale of family secrets, growing up and ghosts from twice-winner of the Carnegie Medal and author of the bestselling The Changeover, Margaret Mahy.
Three strange men stood behind her. They could have touched her if they had wanted to. 'You're not alone on Teddy Carnival's Beach,' said one, not asking a question but sounding as if he were giving her a warning.
The Hamiltons look forward to their annual Christmas holiday at the beach. Jack and Naomi, their five children and their guests are settling in to the chaotic family atmosphere at the sprawling home known as Carnival's Hide when the world is thrown out of order by the unexpected arrival of three visitors.
Charming, enigmatic and sinister, the three brothers have come to stay. Only 17-year-old Harry questions their strange ways, but even she isn't sure what is real anymore: are they really related to Teddy Carnival, said to have drowned on that beach many years ago, or are they tricksters - conjured by her overactive imagination?
This will be a Christmas to be remembered, where long-buried secrets will be revealed and no one will ever be quite the same.
'A gripping, eerie fantasy' The Guardian
Spellbinding - Kirkus
With the appearance of this haunting, intriguing novel, Mahy (twice a winner of the Carnegie Medal) has written perhaps her best work yet. - Publishers Weekly
Mahy's writing has a clarity and lyricism that looks effortless - The Guardian
Brilliantly crafted - The Observer
A dazzling fantasy - The Times Literary Supplement
Margaret Mahy's many books - picture books, short stories, and fiction for teenagers as well as younger children - have been hugely successful all round the world and she is indisputably one of the most popular and successful twentieth-century children's authors. She has won the Carnegie Medal and many other awards, and has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. She lived in New Zealand until her death in 2012.