Friday, December 17, 2010

Nothing But Ghosts - Beth Kephart


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






17 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

I still haven't read any Beth Kephart, but I'm sure that will change in 2011. It sounds as though this is the right one to start with.

Melody said...

I haven't read anything by this author, but I do have this book on my pile after reading so many rave reviews on it!

Willa said...

Glad to hear you had such a good reading experience!

Julie P. said...

I have the same mission!!! Beautiful review!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Wasn't the librarian great? It's always a pleasure to come upon a NON-old-maidish dorky librarian!

Anna said...

Beautiful review! I can't wait to get off my duff and read something by this author.

caite said...

good review...
but I don't know..I am off YA books at the moment. I think I have read one too dark, negative one..at least drak in my mind.

Zibilee said...

I haven't read anything by Kephart yet, but I bet I would love this book. It might be good for my daughter as well. The story sounds like it deals with loss and grief in a really sensitive and respectful way, and that is something that I think would really benefit her right now. Thanks for the awesome review on this one. It's another book that will be picked up with the last minute shopping this year.

Jenners said...

The Beth Kephart Blogging Cult has got you ... I suppose they shall get me soon as well.

Nymeth said...

I really enjoyed this one as well. As you said, it's a gentle, quiet sort of book, but there's so much going on under the surface.

Amy said...

yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. ;)

bermudaonion said...

I love Kephart's work - it's lyrical and sweet without being too sweet if you know what I mean.

Marce said...

What a great review, I have this one on my Wishlist, thanks for saying it is lyrical, love that.

marthalama said...

I've mentioned I have been slowly getting into YA fiction. This sounds like just the thing to get me hooked.

Melissa M said...

I've only read one Kephart book, but this is going to be the next one of hers I read!

Serena said...

This one is my favorite too!

Kathleen said...

I still haven't read Kephart and now here's another one to add to my list!