Friday, June 26, 2009

Review: Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart

Nothing But Ghosts
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.

Rating: 5/5

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!




Amy

18 comments:

Meghan said...

I'm sad that others aren't buying the book! I'll post about it this weekend, although I'm sure everyone who reads my blog reads yours too.

Glad you liked the book, I think that means I'll like it too! My copy just shipped.

Julie P. said...

I am bummed that you aren't having a bigger response to this party. BUT I am just thrilled to hear that you loved the book. Mine should be arriving today or tomorrow!

Lenore said...

What a beautiful review! Beth brings out the best in you :) I have to admit I jumped in to support you with the drive before I read the book. But I also did it on the strength of Beth's blog and UNDERCOVER, both writing I adore.

Anna Lefler said...

Amy, I couldn't agree more with your delightful review. What a gorgeous, satisfying read NOTHING BUT GHOSTS is. And, yes, that's certainly no surprise, is it?

I'm so glad you're hosting this party - what a fabulous idea!

:-D Anna

bermudaonion said...

I'm bummed that the book drive hasn't been more successful either. I've included it in my post for tomorrow. I'm looking forward to reading my copy.

Florinda said...

I linked to the book drive in my post today, Amy - I hope it helps!

My copy of Nothing But Ghosts came yesterday (and I also ordered Undercover along with it). Terrific review!

Beth F said...

I can't wait until we discuss this at book club. Sounds wonderful. I bought my copy already.

Julie J. said...

I'm excited to receive my copy. I have linked this to my blog and I hope it helps the drive gain more attention. What you are doing is wonderful Amy!

softdrink said...

Have you read North of Beautiful? I just loved that book, but I've never read Kephart. But No. of B. shows up in the people who have bought Nothing but Ghosts also bought thingie on Amazon. Is that a sign that I need to run out and buy it?

Beth Kephart said...

Amy, dear Amy. Dear all of you.

This book drive has been extraordinary — for the kindness it proves in the world. For some of the bloggers I've now met along the way. For the privilege of reading reviews like this one.

I feel honored, day by day, blog by blog, tweet by tweet, book by book, that you have joined me for this journey.

booklineandsinker said...

i saw reviews and tidbits about this book on two other blogs and had to make my way over to see what's going on. amy, you're amazing to host this! i love it. i'm off to buy my copy. :)

Suzanne said...

What a wonderful review... and a wonderful testament to the friendships and caring that bloggers feel towards eachother! Will be ordering my copy!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Hi Amy - I no longer have an amazon account, can I order from my local bookstore and scan the receipt for you, to add to the tally? If not, maybe I can have a friend w/an acct order it for me ...

samantha.1020 said...

I'm going to be honest and tell you that I hadn't heard of this one before now but I will definitely be checking it out. Great review!

Sheila DeChantal said...

I am going to but this book Amy. I will hopefully get to that later today. I think it sounds like a wonderful story and I also think what you are doing to help the sales of this is highly commendable.

sierra.rix said...

Just ordered my copy! I've meant to for a while, but I lose my purse on a reg basis and it just resurfaced (reason why my DL is kept in the car :-)
Looking forward to tonight!

Julie J. said...

Wow, what a great book! I got my copy and read it in just a few hours! My review is also now posted. Come check it out when you have an opportunity! http://molcotw.blogspot.com/2009/07/nothing-but-ghosts.html

Beth F said...

This morning my husband asked me what my main point would be during book club today. I said that I thought the book was so real -- not inspirational and not maudlin; just real and true.

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