In 1966, the three Finley children move into a 200-year-old house. Their parents turn a room in an isolated wing of the house into a playroom for the kids, and soon they learn that the room is inhabited by the ghost of a cat, Opalina. Opalina warms to the children and begins to regale them with tales from her nine lives.
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Opalina was the pet of a young heiress who moved into the house in 1750. In 1766, Opalina was murdered by a dog, and then began the succession of tenancies that made up her subsequent lives: the children Phoebe and Jim, who recover a stolen rowboat; the boring loner Benjamin Paisley; Emily, who is an only child and is kept from having friends; the rowdy twins Pat and Pelley, who make friends with a local hermit, Batsy Diggs; Pat and Pelley's children, who have to entertain snooty cousin Sophy from Atlanta; Miss Pankey, who runs the place as a boarding house in the 1930s, and finally the three Finley children.
The Finleys make friends with the descendants of the former owners of the house, and Opalina uses her supernatural talent for shape-shifting to cement the friendships.
The review of this Book prepared by Sean Dwyer