Thirteen-year-old Jennifer Scott, left to her own devices in her great-grandmother's rambling mansion, wants to know the answer. Her research takes her deep into her family's past. Suddenly she is waking up to snowfall in summer, hearing violin music from the deserted music room and seeing visions of Thistle Manor's first occupants. There are new questions to answer. Who is the angelic little girl in the white dress Jennifer sees in the library? What is the significance of the book she clasps in her lap? Is she trying to tell Jennifer something? What happened on the first Christmas Eve in Thistle Manor and why was the red-haired man Jennifer glimpses in the doorway so angry? Aided by the town librarian, Mina Dassel, Jennifer is about to uncover a long-buried family secret.
Like her heroine, Nancy-Lou Patterson's favourite books as a child included "The Secret Garden and "The Chronicles of Narnia. Her new young adult novel "The Painted Hallway pays tribute to both of these works. Set in southwestern Ontario and inspired by a real-life house in the village of Baden, it is likely to become a Canadian children's classic. According to novelist Jane Urquhart, Nancy-Lou Patterson has magically combined family history, romance and the mysterious to create a lyrical and engaging coming-of-age story which is, ultimately, about the power of love and art to transcend time and sorrow.'