Sparrow Hill Road

( 6 )

Overview

Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.

It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.

They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The...

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Overview

Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.

It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.

They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.

You can’t kill what’s already dead.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 03/17/2014
McGuire (the InCryptid series) brings empathy, complexity, and a shivering excitement to this well-developed campfire tale. Many stories have been told about a hitchhiker, a young woman—sometimes dressed in a prom dress or jeans and a T-shirt—who roams the highways in search of a ride. Rose Marshall is that hitcher, also known as the Ghost of Sparrow Hill Road. Rose has two purposes: one is helping the newly dead make the transition between states, and the other is hunting down Bobby Cross, the man who killed her in order to gain immortality. This is the story of her death, and her life. This mesmerizing tale had its beginnings in the short story “The Edge of Propinquity”; McGuire has smoothly turned it into a powerful blend of ghost story, love story, and murder mystery, wrapped in a perfectly neat package. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (May)
Library Journal
05/15/2014
Rose is a ghost and a rather famous one at that. You may know her as the Phantom Prom Date, or the Girl in the Green Dress, but before she was an urban legend, Rose was a real 16-year-old girl. She's been that age a long time, always hitchhiking the American roads while hoping for a ride and the loan of a coat to make her real for a while. She encounters witches and fellow ghosts who help her; ghost hunters and vengeful spirits who oppose her; and lonely travelers who remind her of what it was like to be alive. The man who killed her and doomed her to the life of a ghost is still out there, and Rose eventually decides it is time to get her revenge. VERDICT This is the first in what we hope will be a long series about those who walk the ghost roads from the marvelous McGuire (Chimes at Midnight; Half-Off Ragnorak), who writes like a dream and creates wonderful, complex, sympathetic characters like Rose and then places them in peril.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756409616
  • Publisher: DAW Trade
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 71,852
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Seanan McGuire is a California-based author with a strong penchant for travel and can regularly be found just about anyplace capable of supporting human life (as well as a few places that probably aren’t). Early exposure to a vast number of books left her with a lifelong affection for the written word, and led, perhaps inevitably, to her writing books of her own, starting somewhere around the age of eleven. The October Daye novels are her first urban fantasy series, and the InCryptid novels are her second series, both published by DAW and bother of which have put her in the New York Times bestseller list. Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; Rosemary and Rue, the first novel in the October Daye series, was named one of the Top 20 Paranormal Fantasy Novels of the Past Decade; and her novel Feed, written under the name Mira Grant, was named as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2010. She also won a Hugo for her podcast, and is the first person to be nominated for five Hugo Awards in a single year. You can visit her at www.seananmcguire.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 29, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I didn't have the pleasure of reading Rose Marshall's story whe

    I didn't have the pleasure of reading Rose Marshall's story when it first appeared in serialized form on the Edge of Propinquity website, so everything in this book was new to me (whereas some of it might have been old news to long-time McGuire fans). There were some very pleasant surprises and reveals throughout, and even a somewhat subtle connection to McGuire's InCryptid books, which I really love. (I think there's also a solid connection to McGuire's short story "Homecoming" from the September 2013 issue of Lightspeed magazine, but I don't think the author's confirmed that one yet.)

    Rose Marshall herself is a fascinating focal character, and with a small exception here or there, the novel is told in first person from her point of view. It's not easy to write a character who is forever sixteen but has been around for seventy-something years and manage to keep her feeling young without also having her feel too precocious. McGuire walks that line by showing us in various flashbacks how Rose was as a living teenager versus a newly-minted road ghost versus how she is now.

    It's also not necessarily easy to take short stories that were published independently of each other and whip them into shape as a cohesive novel; sometimes the cracks show no matter what the author does. Not so here; if any massaging of the serialized website version was done for the print edition (such as removing repetitive "here's what happened last month" info-dumps), it wasn't noticeable to this reader as it has been in similar books I've read.

    The time-jumps in each section of the story also build the reader's suspense, not only about what actually happened that night on Sparrow Hill Road, but also about how Rose has "lived" (for lack of a better term) from then to now. The constant jumping around might annoy some readers, but it kept my attention and enhanced the world-building with plenty of small "a-ha" moments as I made connections Rose herself hadn't necessarily revealed yet or as connections I hadn't made became evident.

    Rose is the narrator but she's far from the only well-developed character: McGuire takes the time to develop the demonic Bobby Cross, the baen sidhe (and proprietess of the Last Chance Diner) Emma, and several other supporting characters who become more or less important to Rose's story as it jumps from present to past and back again.

    I'm always enamored of McGuire's world-building, whether it's in the Toby Daye books or Incryptid or in self-contained short stories. Here, she takes various ghostly urban legends (like "the girl who just needs a ride home / a ride to prom") and spins a whole universe of different types of traveling ghosts out of them, with her own unique touch. Around the ghosts, McGuire also creates various cultures that interact with road ghosts and with the roads themselves: ambulomancers, routewitches, trainspotters and umbramancers. The routewitches are the most well-developed because of the way their own cultural story connects so deeply to Rose's personal journey; I'm hoping that in future volumes (and clearly I'm hoping there will be future volumes), McGuire will likewise develop the ambulomancers, trainspotters and umbramancers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    Baffled

    I am so confused by what is happening in this book! I actually put it down and didn't bother picking it up again. It runs in circles, zipping from story to story. I would need to start some schizophrenia medication before I consider picking it up again.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Great ghost story! I really hope there will be more!

    Great ghost story! I really hope there will be more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2014

    Terrific ghost/adventure story!

    This is a marvelous ghost story, told as a series of linked stories that move backwards and forewords through time. Rose is a great narrator with a distinctive voice and a strong sense of purpose. If you like travel stories, ghost stories, or strong female protagonists, your must give this a try.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    Great new series

    Charlaine Harris never disappoints. I cannot wait for the next book. How does she keep coming up with these great story lines. I would not have believed there could be anything new to be said about ghosts. I am really happy to be proven wrong!ooo

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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