by Beth Kephart
Nothing But Ghosts isn’t just about ghosts. It’s about discovering the past, the present, and the future. It’s about appreciating the beauty and variety of the natural world. It’s about understanding and loving the people around you. It’s about exploring, seeing, traveling, and living life to its fullest.
NBG tells the story of Katie D’Amore, who’s lived with her father ever since her mother died. While on a summer job, Katie finds herself wrapped up in a fascinating whirlwind of unsolved mysteries and hidden knowledge. Her quest for the truth takes her to the library, where she patiently sorts through seven boxes of “Local Lore” in order to find answers to the lifelong questions she seeks.
In NBG, I felt that the characters were the most developed I’d ever seen in a book. Everyone had their own distinctive personality, from Old Olson’s secretive and grumpy demeanor to Jimmy D’Amore’s enthusiastic and passionate whims. Unlike some other books, I never got annoyed with the characters nor did I find them mundane; on the contrary, I kept discovering more about each character and their personal qualities.
What I really loved about this book was how Katie, piece by piece, solved the burning questions in her mind. Although I couldn’t see how anything would fit together at the beginning, all the small details I’d overlooked started becoming a part of the mystery. Everything started coming together until I could complete the puzzle.
Beth Kephart, other than being a super-nice person, is one of the most evocative and creative authors I’ve ever met. Her elaborate words conjure up such bright images in my mind (and the descriptions of food in NBG always made me hungry!) Many of her sentences were so poetic and singsong, and definitely added to the overall feel of the book. The unique elements in the story (an annoying finch, colorful bottles, an unidentifiable painting, etc.) also accentuated the mystery of NBG and set up the atmosphere for the whole novel, making it (in my opinion) a masterpiece.
Coming out in July 2009.