As I told someone, while I was reading Dangerous Neighbors I had a dilemma. I wanted to read the book quickly because I found the story engrossing. I also wanted to read it slowly so that I could savor Kepharts words. Every page has phrasing that I wish I could write, such as The organ doesnt sing, it exhalesfilling the volume of the Main Exhibition Hall with elaborate moans and peeps or Their father has sent them off with George, his favorite hansom driver, and with a dark horse named Hank who blows dragon steam through his nostrils. Blows dragon steam through his nostrils. Wow!!!!! Kephart enables you to visualize everything from the flight of a bird to flour dust emanating from a bakery.
The 1876 Exhibition is the setting for Dangerous Neighbors and the story certainly peaked my curiosity about that event. But it is a timeless story which could take place in any locale. The characters are wonderful: Bennett who is Annas love interest, William who rescues animals and sparks something in Katherine, Anna, Katherine herself who feels responsible for her younger twin, and their parents, each caught up in their own world. The story, as I said, is engrossing. It is a story of hope. The emotions are strong: Anna and Bennetts love, and Katherines sense of responsibility and loss and confusion.
Ms. Kephart says that Dangerous Neighbors is a cross-over book that will appeal to teens and their parents. I agree. So get a copy for yourself and a copy for your parent and read it together, sitting side by side on the settee. I can only reiterate what Ive said before: Beth Kephart is a marvelous author and one whose books you can count on for containing some of the finest use of language youll encounter. Read my reviews on this website of House of Dance, Nothing But Ghosts and Undercover.