“That’s the first step, you know. Admitting you’re afraid. But when there’s love, there can be no fear.”
Davia is afraid of many things, and everything about her elderly great-aunt Mari and her spooky-looking plantation home terrifies her. And when she encounters Emilie, the tortured ghost of a well-to-do adolescent girl from the nineteenth century, she is even more frightened. Davia gradually begins to learn from Aunt Mari secrets about Emilie and about her own family’s past—stories of premature endings and regrets. As Aunt Mari’s health deteriorates, she and Davia become closer. Together, they hope to release Emilie’s spirit from the mansion and the world of the living.
Author Sheri Sinykin has written a provocative tale of a young girl who learns to accept uncertainty and to come to terms with her fears. Readers will be mesmerized by the intriguing supernatural mystery that lies at the heart of the story.
“Equal parts psychological realism and supernatural thriller, this story about living in the present and conquering fear has teen appeal in spades…Sinykin’s simple, straightforward prose can be read by those as young as nine, but the subject matter—disease, death, arranged marriage and suicide—makes this title more appropriate for older readers. A good choice for reluctant teens.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“The book will draw some readers through its subject matter and will thereby connect them with a character seeking to understand her family, her place in a larger scheme of things, and her glimpse beyond the natural world.” ―School Library Journal
“More than a ghost story, this book serves as a guide for teenagers experiencing illness and death in their families…Sinykin successfully blends essential information about the process of dying with a fictional narrative that could be useful for teens facing similar circumstances in their lives.” ―VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
Young Adult Top Forty ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2008
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Middle School / Junior High) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2008
Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee, Middle Grades) ―Association for Indiana Media Educators, 2009-2010
AR Level: 3.8
F&P: GRL V, Gr 5, Genre F
Themes: Death, Family, Ghosts, Relationships
BISAC 1: YAF042000 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Mysteries & Detective Stories
BISAC 2: YAF045000 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
BISAC 3: YAF058050 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Death & Dying