The Agony House (Paperback)
Denise Farber has just moved back to New Orleans with her mom and stepdad. They left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and have finally returned, wagering the last of their family's money on fixing up an old, rundown house and converting it to a bed and breakfast.
Nothing seems to work around the place, which doesn't seem too weird to Denise. The unexplained noises are a little more out of the ordinary, but again, nothing too unusual. But when floors collapse, deadly objects rain down, and she hears creepy voices, it's clear to Denise that something more sinister lurks hidden here.
Answers may lie in an old comic book Denise finds concealed in the attic: the lost, final project of a famous artist who disappeared in the 1950s. Denise isn't budging from her new home, so she must unravel the mystery-on the pages and off-if she and her family are to survive...
About the Author
Tara O'Connor is a comic maker and illustrator currently residing in the New Jersey wilderness. When she's not drawing or teaching comics, she's probably working on an illustration of some sort. She is the author of Roots and The Altered History of Willow Sparks. You can find more of Tara's art online at www.taraocomics.com.
"Priest ably weaves contemporary issues and a feminist strand into this fantasy as, while briskly fending off ghostly visitations and searching out clues to the house's violent past, Denise makes new friends and encounters pushback from some St. Roch neighbors rightfully leery of white gentrifiers. Highlighted by a wonderfully melodramatic climax, the author brings her plotlines to upbeat resolutions with a thrilling discovery, a revelation about the comic's author, and a degree of general community acceptance of Denise and her family. Nearly every character's race, white or black, is carefully but unobtrusively specified. O'Connor inserts multiple pages from the comic and atmospheric stand-alone illustrations all printed in haint blue. Conflicts, ectoplasmic and otherwise, laid to rest in a deliciously creepy setting." -- Kirkus Reviews