Three strange men stood behind her. 'You're not alone on Teddy Carnival's Beach,' said one, not asking a question but sounding as if he were giving her a warning.
The Hamiltons look forward to their annual Christmas holiday on the New Zealand coast. Jack and Naomi, their five children and their guests are settling in to the chaotic family atmosphere at the sprawling home known as Carnival's Hide when the world is thrown out of order by the unexpected arrival of three visitors. Charming, enigmatic and sinister, the three brothers have come to stay. Only 17-year-old Harry questions their strange ways, but even she isn't sure what is real anymore: are they really related to Teddy Carnival, said to have drowned on that beach many years ago, or are they tricksters - conjured by her overactive imagination? This will be a Christmas to be remembered, where long-buried secrets will be revealed and no one will ever be quite the same.
A beautifully subtle family drama, set in a magical and spooky New Zealand coastal Locale. Highly recommended. Wonderfully real characters and a thrilling twisty narrative, interwoven with Mahy's characteristic threads of humane honesty, magic and whimsy. Ages 13+