Customer Reviews for

We Hear the Dead

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  • Posted June 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    review taken from One Book At A Time

    I liked this book for the most part. I feel the description is a little misleading though. I got the impression it has more to do with the actual spiritualism movement and the Fox sister's involvement. It's there, but it feels more like the background story. The story is more personal than that. It's told from both Maggie's and Kate's point of view. But, the story seems to focus more on Maggie. I think she had issues deceiving people from the very beginning. The book is more about her inner struggle with that. She liked the fame in brought her. Especially when it introduced her to Elisha Kent. That's when the story becomes more of a romance. Maggie has to choose between her family and spiritualism and her new found feelings for him. I have to say I didn't like Elisha much. I don't know if he truly cared for Maggie. It seemed like he was more interested in molding her to be what he thought she should be. In the end, I felt sorry for Maggie and all she had to endure at the hands of Elisha and his family.
    The story was interesting and well written. I just wanted more of the spiritualism and seances. I thought it was interesting that Maggie played along while in the end I think Kate really truly believed she was being guided by the dead.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book

    Maggie Fox and her sister, Kate, are just playing around when they pretend they can communicate with the dead. But soon their brother is digging up the basement and finding what may be a body, and people everywhere are coming to them seeking to communicate with their loved ones who have passed on. They can't tell the truth without getting into a lot of trouble, but they didn't realize just how much their fame would spread.

    When Maggie falls in love with well-known explorer Elisha Kent Kane, she wants to give it all up to be with him. But she finds she can't just walk away when her family depends on her so much. Caught between the life she has and the life she wants, Maggie struggles to find a solution that will let her be true to herself without hurting those she loves.

    Based on the true story of the Fox sisters and the beginning of the Spiritualist movement in the mid 1850s, We Hear the Dead by Dianne K. Salerni is a fascinating look at how something can start out as a lark and then spiral out of control. The Fox sisters' story is the 1800s version of a video going viral and taking on a life of its own.

    This is great historical fiction, but mother-daughter book clubs can add a modern touch to their conversations as well. Issues to discuss include differences in technology and communications between then and now, and how that would affect someone making claims similar to those of the Fox sisters today. Other topics include deceiving the outside world to meet the expectations of those in your family, social constraints on women of the times, expectations of social classes, and more.

    Salerni includes a list at the back of the book for further reading, and it could be fun for members of a group to find out more about the real life Maggie Fox and Elisha Kent Kane to present at a meeting. As I didn't know about Maggie before reading We Hear the Dead, I didn't know how her story would turn out. Salerni does a great job of weaving fictional details into the framework of actual events to keep the pace moving and keep the reader interested until the very end. We Hear the Dead would be a great book for groups with girls aged 14 and older.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2010

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