ARC Review, THE PAINTING, by Charis Cotter – Publisher: Tundra Books

A haunting, beautiful middle-grade novel about fractured relationships, loss, ghosts, friendship and art.

Annie and her mother don’t see eye to eye. When Annie finds a painting of a lonely lighthouse in their home, she is immediately drawn to it–and her mother wishes it would stay banished in the attic. To her, art has no interest, but Annie loves drawing and painting.

When Annie’s mother slips into a coma following a car accident, strange things begin to happen to Annie. She finds herself falling into the painting and meeting Claire, a girl her own age living at the lighthouse. Claire’s mother Maisie is the artist behind the painting, and like Annie, Claire’s relationship with her mother is fraught. Annie thinks she can help them find their way back to each other, and in so doing, help mend her relationship with her own mother.

But who IS Claire? Why can Annie travel through the painting? And can Annie help her mother wake up from her coma?

The Painting is a touching, evocative story with a hint of mystery and suspense to keep readers hooked.



Tundra Books asked that I give this new book scheduled out for the 19th of September of this year, a review. This is a excellent, well-paced Tweens Novel for ages 9 through 12, set in Canada, in the supernatural, paranormal genre of roughly 271 pages.

Charis Cotter

CHARIS COTTER grew up beside a cemetery and has been living with ghosts ever since. She studied English in university and went to drama school in London, England. Her spooky, suspenseful novel, The Swallow: A Ghost Story, was nominated for many awards and received countless honors. Her picture book, The Ferryland Visitor: A mysterious tale, is based on a true ghost story experienced by Newfoundland artist Gerald L. Squires and his family when they lived at an abandoned lighthouse in the 1970s. Charis has worked extensively in schools and libraries from coast to coast, using drama and storytelling to bring her books to life. Her performances of Newfoundland ghost stories have thrilled audiences of all ages, from Florida to Vancouver Island. She lives at the end of a road beside the ocean, in one of the most haunted parts of Newfoundland.

Once I learned this novel was going to be set in Newfoundland, I was incredibly excited to read on, since I have extensive family history ebbing from there.  Imagine my surprise and wonder when I discovered the family name Piercey, when I was reading. This is my mother’s family name. Talk about spooky! lol

Anyway, this is a story of two families that are uniquely tied to one another through two girls, Claire and Annie. The author’s voice is wonderful throughout the story and very compelling. I finished this book in one sitting and loved every moment of it. The POV (point of view) jumped between these two girls and at first, I was a bit lost, but once I caught on, I actually enjoyed reading from their individual perspectives. It gave the story an in-depth insight from two different angles that tied the story together nicely. A great read about family love, understanding and forgiveness passed down through the generations.

The character developments were ideal, smooth in their transactions and done expertly with an even flow that keeps you enjoying them and wanting more. The setting in an old lighthouse adds just the right mysterious touch to the tone. The inner struggles of these two girls with their respective mothers is incredibly bang on and well written. This story will appeal to both young adults and adults alike.

I truly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone interested in this style of writing. The book is due out September 19, 2017, through Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

This author offers another book: “The Swallow, A Ghost Story,” if you enjoy “The Painting” check out “The Swallow, A Ghost Story.”

I give this ARC:


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