Escape from McWrath Mansion Review
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Thirteen-year-old Liz Badlock used to live in Georgia with her mom, dad, and brother—until she was kidnapped by an old lady with multiple personalities. After the kidnapping, she’s whisked away to a home up north, where she’s treated poorly and has no chance of escape.

Day after day, Liz doesn’t know which personality she’ll encounter: Helen, the mean old woman who abuses her, Gladys, the grandmotherly one who makes sure she’s fed properly, or Wilma Jeanne, the sweet but dimwitted one who can’t ever remember why Liz is living in her home.

A few months after being snatched off the street, Liz meets twins Jeremy and Tracey. They become her only friends—and they’re also the only people who believe that she’s been kidnapped. Together, they concoct a scheme to help Liz escape from McWrath Mansion.

The journey back home proves to be dangerous as they’re stalked by Helen’s mercenary goons, and they have to do their best to dodge anyone of authority. But Liz is determined to get back to her true family, no matter what it takes.

Though I’ve never heard of a dog climbing a tree, a person who’s able to walk around on a broken leg, or a grandmother who can lift a van and set it up right again, I found Escape from McWrath Mansion a cute and entertaining read. Even with its elements of abuse, the story still holds a light-hearted appeal. Sometimes, though, I couldn’t tell if I was reading a comedy or a tragedy, as neither aspect mixed smoothly within the plot.

Liz is a very strong and determined young lady who makes a lot of mistakes and does some stupid things, reminding you that she’s just a little girl who’s far from home. Your heart will go out to her as you applaud her moxie and courage—and you’ll really, really want to see her get free.

However, a couple of things about the story don’t really make sense. For instance, why don’t any grownups believe Liz—or at least enough to check into it? Given who kidnapped her, why aren’t the authorities (or her parents, for that matter) able to find her sooner? And why would Helen risk sending Liz to school a few months after taking her?

Despite multiple plot holes, though, Escape from McWrath Mansion is still an enjoyable young adult read that’s sure to capture your attention from start to finish.

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