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I remember reading this book in 1977, so it predates that year. There's a young girl who finds an abandoned mansion with an eerie gothic garden. I recall that the setting is the American Eastern Seaboard/New England area. She feels compelled to explore the house, and by entering and reading a book in the dusty library she is transported to another world. There's a lot of scene focus on the ocean and coastal settings, really evocative of the wind and the salt spray in a similar way that McCaffrey lovingly wrote the first few chapters of Dragonsong. The protagonist is not a rebel or an outcast escaping our mundane world, just a normal schoolgirl who inexplicably feels more at home in her new setting. She goes on adventures and proves herself through many trials in classic YA isekai/fantasy style. I was very young when I read this, and I would like to find it again to see if it's as good as I remember.

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    Sounds vaguely like Susan Cooper's Seaward, but I don't recall the initial setting being America.
    – bob1
    Commented May 14 at 21:43
  • 1
    Whoops, Seaward is 1983, so too late.
    – bob1
    Commented May 14 at 21:55

1 Answer 1

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Found: This book was The Broken Citadel by Joyce Ballou Gregorian, and it's the first in the Tredana trilogy.

Front cover of The Broken Citadel

In the Otherworld, change was afoot. The winds whistled through the ruins of Treglad, echoing the name of a long-forgotten goddess. In the city of Treclere, the Deathless Queen slowly drew all the land under her spell of dark sorcery. In the city of Tredana, a Prince pledged himself to a quest that would make his destiny--or would take his life. In a tower on an island of glass, a Princess was imprisoned by her own mother's decree. In the ice of the north the Kermyrag burned in eternal flames, with a crown between his white-feathered wings and tears of blood in his dark eyes. And in Massachusetts there was a window to Otherworld, and a young woman named Sibby was about to step over the sill.

I now have a copy on order to see if it will still resonate five decades later.

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