Ivy is trying to come to terms with the terrible news that her twin sister Scarlet has died. Before she can even do so, a letter arrives saying that she will be taking her sister's place at the private school where she died. Ivy is in shock over both pieces of news, but the headmistress of the school comes to pick her up and deliver her to the school. Miss Fox tells Ivy that she will actually be assuming Scarlet's identity, and that she is not allowed to tell anyone the truth. How is she supposed to pull off this charade? She doesn't know any of the students or teachers, or even how to find her way around the school.
Things are difficult from the first day. Scarlet has some enemies among the other girls and they begin their attacks of whispering, pranks, shoving, and name-calling without wasting any time. Ivy can't tell them that she isn't actually the girl they are angry with, so she has to find a way to stand up to the bullying. Scarlet's diary was hidden inside the mattress, but when Ivy finds it, all the pages have been torn out. How can she find out what really happened to her sister without those clues? She begins searching the school for the missing pages, and what she learns from each new discovery only makes the situation more complicated and dangerous. With only her roommate Ariadne as an ally, can Ivy uncover the truth before she winds up sharing Scarlet's fate?
This is a wonderful mix of historical fiction and mystery. The setting in the rambling old school leaves plenty of places for the girls to explore while looking for the missing diary. The characters are all easy to like (or dislike, in the case of the bullies and Miss Fox). The occasional moments of laughter add contrast to the tension, which keeps building until the final climactic confrontation. A good read for middle grades and up.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
* Update - 08/01/2016 We have added this title to the Fairview Library.