Here is another creepy, atmospheric story from the author of 2015 Cybils finalist The Swallow: a Ghost Story.
The Painting by Charis Cotter. Tundra Books, 2017.
In the present day, our heroine, Annie, is struggling with her mother being in a coma after an accident. Hiding away in the attic, she discovers an old painting of a lighthouse. Looking at it, she finds herself in that world. There she meets Claire, a girl her own age living with her artist mother in remote Newfoundland. Claire is convinced that Annie is her little sister Annie, who died in an accident at age four. And Annie does indeed look just like the Annie she sees in the paintings of her that Claire’s mother has done.
Despite the creepiness, Annie and Claire form a friendship. Annie must find multiple paintings by the same artist to be able to visit Claire. They are quite different people in their personalities and preferred settings as well as their time period, but both are united by having conflicted relationships with their mothers. Meanwhile, Annie is trying to figure out why she is able to travel through the paintings in this way and if there is any way to save her mother.
I was able to see at least half of the solution pretty early on, much earlier than Annie did. But I read on, enjoying the complex relationships and seeing how the problems would be solved. This is a good one for readers who like strong characters and a strong sense of place, with slowly building action.