Portraits of Celina by Sue Whiting is a paranormal mystery book. Bayley Anderson’s mother has uprooted her family and moved them all to an old family home near Tallowood. Bayley’s father died a few months ago from an accident. Amelia (Bayley’s older sister) has not been acting out. She has been disappearing, getting drunk, and acting out. So now they are all stuck out in the middle of nowhere. No one has lived in the house since 1975.
In 1975 Celina O’Malley left for school and was never seen again. Celina was sixteen years old. When Bayley moves into her new room there is an old trunk. The trunk is full of clothes and other items belonging to Celina. Bayley is drawn to the trunk and its contents. She starts wearing the clothes and then Bayley starts seeing/experiencing snippets of Celina’s life. When Bayley sees a picture of Celina, it is like looking in a mirror. They could be twins.
Bayley starts looking into Celina’s disappearance to see what happened to her while dealing with her family. Bayley’s mother is not handling the loss of her husband very well and she is starting to fall apart. Amelia continues to act out, drinking, disappearing, and sneaking out of the house causing more problems for their mother. Seth, Bayley’s little brother, is anxious and scared all the time. Amelia’s hijinks are making things worse for poor Seth. Bayley is trying to hold their family together while finding out what happened to Celina. What happened to Celina all those years ago?
I give Portraits of Celina 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is set in Australia so some of the terminology and references will be foreign to American readers. It is also written in the first person. This book sounded so good, but I was very disappointed. The ending left me dissatisfied. I do not think that the mother’s first name was ever mentioned (I kept looking). I think a little rewriting and editing would do this book a world of good.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you for reading my review. I am currently reading Scent of Triumph by Jan Moran. Have a lovely evening and Happy Reading!
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