This book was put on my “to do” list when I read the post over at My Friend Amy’s, promoting this book and setting a challenge up for us fellow bloggers to purchase this book and read it. I thought it was great to see an author promoted so well and after reading about the book, jumped up the literary band wagon and purchased the book. I jumped in as I tend to do…. not knowing a ton about the author or the book, but to support the cause… in other words, cannon ball style, not dipping a toe…..
I was in for a treat….
Grief and all its anguish is at the heart of this story. Reeling from her mother’s death, Katie, 16, takes a summer job on a nearby wealthy estate as part of a work crew constructing a gazebo. As she bonds with her fellow teen worker, Danny, she stumbles across secrets about the beautiful, rich recluse who lives in the big house. Why has wacky Miss Martine not been seen for over 50 years? Is the hole that they’re digging really for the gazebo? With the help of the glamorous town librarian (yes, glamorous), Katie and Danny research local lore in newspaper files and microfilm. The connections between solving the mystery and Katie’s bereavement struggle are sometimes overstated. Her first-person present-tense narrative is clear and lyrical, though,especially in her portrayal of her genius dad, an artist who asks, “How do you paint regret?” and in her discovery that “beauty and sadness can both live in one place.”
Today I took this book out to the deck with me and while enjoying ice tea on a beautiful Saturday morning and a wee bit of the afternoon, I read this book.
I found Beth’s writing to be wonderful and detailed. I enjoyed the flash backs of Katie’s mom and even though she was a character who had passed on, her presence in this book is sensed as well as felt, and I think appropriately so. I could imagine the pain of Katie losing her mother at such a tender age, yet trying to be strong for herself as well as her dad – as her dad was for her. Having lost my mom, this book flow ed through some of my own recollections of saying “good night” into the darkness and praying that she could hear.
The mystery of Miss Martine in the book is actually a salvation for Katie and her dad. While going about doing what they do, they stumble blindly into something that not only brings them fully into the situation… but binds them together. As the book ends I had a sense of good things to come. The book left me feeling that they would be alright, that doors were opening to a future that in the final chapter as they all sit around the dinner table… I can almost invision.
This book is categorized as Young Adult and I can see this being enjoyed by that age group. I certainly enjoyed the read and I will be looking for more from Beth Kephart in the future. Readers, I recommend you spend some time this summer with Nothing But Ghosts.
In honor of the book, I am making chicken and spaghetti squash for dinner. YUM ♥
CONTEST GOING ON FOR BOOK SALES OF THIS BOOK AT MY FRIEND AMY’S…