by Beth Kephart
It came on a gray December Wednesday afternoon, the postal carrier’s loud knock startling me out of my seat. Opening the door I found a package, flipped it over, read the return address. “It’s my book!” I practically shrieked, so loud I’m sure my sister heard me upstairs. My first ARC copy! Signed! By an awesome author who writes beautiful books! Ms. Kephart had graciously offered me a copy after I posted Nothing but Ghosts as one of my "Waiting on" Wednesday books in November.
I tore open the envelope immediately, I could hardly wait to crack it open! But at the time I was currently in the middle of Gary D. Schmidt ’s Trouble and felt it was an inopportune place to stop reading. Soon though, my eagerness to read Ms. Kephart’s newest work won and I sat down and read the entire novel in almost one sitting. (Unfortunately I’m still rather busy and must again use the publisher’s summary instead of my own if I ever want to review this.)
Ever since her mother passed away, Katie’s been alone in her too-big house with her genius dad who restores old paintings for a living. Katie takes a summer job at a garden estate, where, with the help of two brothers and a glamorous librarian, she soon becomes embroiled in decoding a mystery. There are secrets and shadows at the heart of Nothing But Ghosts, symbols hidden in a time-darkened painting, and surprises behind a locked bedroom door. But most of all, this is a love story—the story of a girl who learns about love while also learning to live with her own ghosts.
I don’t feel like I can do justice to this lovely novel because it was so beautiful. I guess I’ll go for short but heartfelt and say: Nothing but Ghosts includes a little mystery, a little romance, a touch of sadness, and many images of hope and summer. And, as always with Ms. Kephart’s books, beautiful writing that makes me want to linger in the novel as long as possible. Nothing but Ghosts is perfect for a lazy summer day, the plot unhurried but wonderful and the images as crisp as a glass of ice-cold lemonade.
Nothing but Ghosts will be available June 23rd, 2009.
Read the story of the cover at Reading Keeps You Sane’s “On the Outside” feature, and check out Beth’s own trailer: