Over the past year or so, I've been acquainting myself with the gentle, lyrical beauty of Beth Kephart's YA books. All the while, however, my blogging friends have been nudging me to read this novel, Nothing But Ghosts, claiming it to be their favorite. On a recent library free-for-all, I threw caution to the wind and impulsively grabbed it, mile-high TBR or not.
Synopsis: Sixteen year-old Katie has been aware of the presence of her mother's ghost ever since her tragic death six months ago. She recognizes her in a familiar scent, in the flowers in the garden, in a bird pecking at her window. But rambling around in her big old house with her father over the summer was not going to help her through the grieving process, so Katie gets a gardening job at a stately mansion in town. With the help of two handsome brothers and a beautiful and hip librarian, she becomes absorbed in solving the mystery of the mansion's owner who hasn't been seen in decades. In the process, she also finds love and a develops a closer relationship with her father.
My thoughts: I do believe my blogging friends were right. Even though I have thoroughly enjoyed my past Beth Kephart reads, this one was perfect. The characters are rich and colorful, from Katie's aching heart, to the librarian with secrets of her own, to the hyper little neighbor boy who just wants a friend. There is so much emotion roiling under the surface. So much growing up going on. And there is a mystery, one that helps Katie face a motherless life. All in a book that took a couple of hours to read.
Beth Kephart has such a magical touch with young women. She captures innocence perched at the edge of adulthood; there is a mature edge that can only come from a trauma experienced at a precarious age. But her work is never overdone...no melodrama, no rude language, just subtle emotion that your mind will touch back on again and again, and a story that you can hand over to your tween or teenage daughter with confidence.
Mission: Read more Beth Kephart.
4.5 out of 5 stars