Dangerous Neighborsby Beth Kephart
It is 1876, the year of the Centennial in Philadelphia and Katherine has recently lost her twin sister Anna in a tragic skating accident. The loss haunts and threatens to suffocate her, and one wickedly hot September day, Katherine sets out for the exhibition grounds to end the life she no longer wants to live. But Katherine's not as alone as she thinks, and a… See more details below
It is 1876, the year of the Centennial in Philadelphia and Katherine has recently lost her twin sister Anna in a tragic skating accident. The loss haunts and threatens to suffocate her, and one wickedly hot September day, Katherine sets out for the exhibition grounds to end the life she no longer wants to live. But Katherine's not as alone as she thinks, and a surprise encounter may just save her from her own tragic end. Filled with vivid detail and exquisite writing that artfully brings the past to life, National Book Award nominee Beth Kepart's Dangerous Neighbors is a timeless and finely crafted novel about betrayal and guilt, hope and despair, love, loss, and new beginnings.
A young woman is lost in grief following the death of her twin sister in this tender, quiet work of historical fiction. Carried along by the character's dreamily melancholy narrative style, readers will drift with Katherine amid the grandeur of Philadelphia's 1876 Centennial Fair. At the novel's opening, her grief has reached a breaking point. Employing an effective flash–back-and-forward technique, the author gradually reveals details about the girls' relationship and the raw feeling of abandonment experienced by Katherine due to a clandestine affair Anna began in the months before her death. Eventually, the circumstances of her sister's death are uncovered in an exquisitely crafted memory as lovely in its imagery as it is tragic. Ringing less true, however, is the modern feel of the dialogue, given the supposed era. For example, during an argument, Katherine calls her sister a narcissist—a term not yet coined in psychology at the time. While this may not jar all readers, teens with an eye toward historical detail will likely take notice. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)
Meet the Author
Beth Kephart is the author of 10 books, including the National Book Award finalist A Slant of Sun; the Book Sense pick Ghosts in the Garden; the autobiography of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River, Flow; the acclaimed business fable Zenobia; and the critically acclaimed novels for young adults, Undercover, House of Dance, Nothing but Ghosts, and The Heart Is Not a Size. "The Longest Distance," a short story, appears in the May 2009 HarperTeen anthology, No Such Thing as the Real World.
Kephart has also won many honors, including the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fiction grant, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Leeway grant, a Pew Fellowships in the Arts grant, and the Speakeasy Poetry Prize. You can visit her online at www.beth-kephart.blogspot.com.
She lives in Philadelphia with her family
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