Okay here's a little confession. You know how I launched a book drive this week and asked 200 of you to plunk down at least $12.23 of your hard earned cash for a book? Well, I hadn't even read the book yet. In my mind it didn't matter, I knew it would be great. You don't maintain a blog of the quality of Beth's and then turn around and write a crappy novel, it just doesn't happen. So how's that for honesty? You can eye me with suspicion or you can see that this book drive is pure...I didn't even receive a review copy, I have no Harper Teen contacts (they've ignored me on Twitter so far regarding the drive), this is all about the love of reading good books.
But! I got my PURCHASED copy in the mail and easily read Nothing But Ghosts in a few hours. I'm so glad (and a bit relieved!) to say that I thought it was absolutely beautiful.
Katie is working on the grounds of the town's recluse for the summer. They are digging an area for a gazebo and luckily Katie has a bit of eye candy to enjoy while she's all of this had work. Her mother passed away some months back and both Katie and her father are slowly finding a way back to their lives. While digging, Katie becomes curious about the town's recluse and sets out to find out all she can about why this woman has chosen to no longer embrace life. At the same time, Katie learns that the painting her father is working on ties into the mystery she's trying to solve.
Nothing But Ghosts is written in Beth's trademark lyrical style. It's a rich look at the heart and at life and loss. It unravels slowly, like a lazy summer day giving us glimpses into what makes a person disappear, what grief looks like, how life can go on after we lose someone we love. I liked that there was a bit of mystery, a hint of romance, a lot of reflection.
But what I loved most about this book is the simple truth that we are all a bunch of people who have loved and carry around aching loss in our hearts, and yet there is hope to be found somewhere, often in each other.
As I was reading, I got to the ending and I just felt incredibly satisfied. The ending really touched me in its simplicity and honesty and hope.
By the way, I think Beth's prose is the kind to be savored. I'm glad to own a beautiful hardcover copy of this book so that I can read it again. I hope you feel the same way.
UPDATE ON BOOK DRIVE
Um, the reason I haven't added a meter to the sidebar is because I've had about 20 free minutes on the internet and also because we haven't even hit 25 yet. I'm so sad about this so incredibly bummed. But I am deeply thankful for the 21 books so far that have been sold and for the incredible amount of support some of you have shown. Many thanks for your tweets and your stumbles.
I was thinking about this and I have decided to extend the book drive to next Friday, July 3rd. The reason for this is that sometimes when you see an author read or meet them you become more interested in buying their book. So in good faith that the party next week will encourage more people to buy the book, I will extend the drive by a few days. BUT, I'd still like to meet the original goal, SO if we sell 200 books by the end of the day on Tuesday June 30th, I'll throw in an extra prize of 5 gently read books to someone as well as increase the 50 dollar Amazon gift certificate to 60 dollars. So let's get the word out!
Buy Nothing But Ghosts!