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The Dana Girls #3: In the Shadow of the Tower

June 25, 2007

We next meet Jean and Louise Dana two books later, in In the Shadow of the Tower, an evocative title that has very little to do with the story.

One day while walking around near Starhurst, Louise and Jean meet Josy Sykes, a hunchbacked teenage girl, and accidentally cause her to lose an important letter and a thousand-dollar bill. Eventually, after a lot of unnecessary manufactured mystery, they find that the letter and money are from Josy’s uncle Joseph, who left her in a home for crippled children when she was a baby and may or may not be dead. Then there’s this whole thing where this famous painter, Constance something-or-other, used to be in love with Uncle Joseph, but they parted when she accidentally dropped baby Josy on her head or something, causing her deformity. Which, by the way, is so prominent that the sight of her sends young children away screaming, and yet is small enough that when Josy becomes famous for whistling on the radio, she can afford to buy cleverly tailored dresses that conceal it.

Yeah, it’s a weird book. But eventually Constance and Joseph and Josy are reunited, and the painter who is trying to pass of Constance’s portrait of Joseph as his own work is caught — because apparently no one recognized the style of someone who is supposed to be one of the most famous painters in the country in this portrait supposedly by an unknown young artist.

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