The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead

The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead

by Paul Elwork

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Overview

It is the summer of 1925. Emily Stewart and her brother, Michael, are thirteen-year-old twins—privileged, precocious, and wandering aimlessly around their family’s Philadelphia estate. One day Emily discovers an odd physical talent—she can secretly crack a joint in her ankle so the sound seems to burst in midair from nowhere. In their garden tea house, Emily and Michael gather the neighborhood children to fool them with these “spirit knockings.” But soon this game of contacting the dead creeps into a world of adults still reeling from a world war. And when the twins find themselves dabbling in the uncertain territory of human grief and family secrets, their game spins out of control…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399157172
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 03/31/2011
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.88(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.05(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Paul Elwork graduated from Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and from Arcadia University with a master’s degree in English. His stories have appeared in many literary journals.

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The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Ophelia52 More than 1 year ago
I believe most of the reviewers thought they were buying a genre horror novel about sparkly vampires who engage in car chases. Look elsewhere for that. This is a literary novel, quite a good one. It is about what happens when children play with adult grief and guilt and set a tragedy in motion. It's about how the dead haunt us, even if there are no ghosts. It's about the end of innocence. This is a beautifully written book for intelligent adults.
DarkFaerieTales on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: A slow and torturous journey into sibling boredom. Opening Sentence: The girl who would speak for the dead stood alone on the cobblestone drive after the rain. Excerpt: No The Review: There are very few books that I have a hard time reading; science manuals, anything recommended to me by my cousin, and this book. Why, you ask? Was it too long? Written in a foreign language? No, it was boring and too slow. I tried reading this book four times; it just went on and on and on¿ The premise of this book is a set of twins in 1925 that get bored and decide to start a game where they fool people into believing that they are contacting the dead through spirit knocking, a noise the girl twin can make with her ankle. Like most things, it grew beyond their small group of friends and starting garnering the attentions of a few adults and one con artist. Great idea for a book, beautifully written prose, excellent allusions and imagery but it flows like a journal written for pleasure and not for posterity. The twins, Michael and Emily Stewart, are a capricious lot. They act without thinking of the consequences; like all 14-year-olds do. Being a parent, I wanted to yell at them and their mom for the damage that they are responsible for; them for doing it, and their mom for not being more involved before it got out of hand. They may be on the cusp of adulthood but that doesn¿t mean they should be left without the benefit of council. Honestly, these characters make me mad more than any other emotion. There is no true climax to this story, just a resolution to a situation. There are lots of references to family skeletons and such, and the timeline waffled back and forth between the twins¿ time and their ancestors. It left me feeling cheated that I took the time to invest into this book in the first place. I would have enjoyed it more if I had nothing better to read or do with my time. Overall, The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead holds no action or magic; it¿s only a cautionary tale of a game getting out of hand. Notable Scene: ¿What was all that talk about never including adults, Michael?¿ Emily asked, closing the book. ¿About the risk?¿ ¿I told that to Albert, Emily¿ ¿You told everyone.¿ ¿That was before. Things have developed since then.¿ ¿No.¿ ¿Now, Em, listen, please-¿ ¿No.¿ And so it went for a time. Finally, Michael said, ¿Why won¿t you do it?¿ ¿Because it can only lead to trouble. And¿¿ ¿And what?¿ ¿And it¿s not nice. Tricking people.¿ ¿Tricking people? Em, these people want to see you perform, that¿s all.¿ ¿Fine. Then let¿s tell them how the trick is done. Tell them it¿s a show.¿ ¿Now, Em, be reasonable. Does a magician tell the crowd how his tricks are done?¿ ¿Are we magicians now, Michael?¿FTC Advisory: Penguin/Berkley graciously provided me with a copy of The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead. No goody bags, sponsorships, ¿material connections,¿ or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payments I receive are hugs and kisses from my little boys.
icedream on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the premise of The Girl Who Could Speak for the Dead and I did enjoy the story most of the time. I just wish it had lived up to its potential a little more. I found myself when reading the story imagining how much further it could go and then when it came to the end I really wanted it to linger more, perhaps leave with a little more mystery. I suppose if it did then there would be readers that would complain they wanted the ending solid and wrapped up. This is one of those books that is worth reading but not one I would rave to my friends about.
nnjmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the aftermath of World War I, a thirteen-year-old girl discovers a peculiar talent. When Emily cracks a bone in her ankle, the popping sound appears to come from midair. She reveals her discovery to Michael, her twin brother, and the two hatch a scheme to convince the neighborhood kids that the mysterious knocking comes from the afterlife. In a time when so many families ¿ including her own ¿ have lost someone, people are ripe to believe in ¿spirit knocking.¿ Emily¿s talent is soon discovered by the adults in town ¿ and things go far beyond either Emily or Michael could have imagined.I am faced, once again, with trying to explain why I didn¿t love a book that I found exceptionally well-written. It seems that it is harder for me to write reviews on books that I feel middling about; it¿s easier to explain why I really dislike a book or why I simply adored it. And again, it comes down to whether or not I can emotionally connect with the story or anyone in it. I felt detached from the characters ¿ almost as if I was watching their story from afar. I wanted to become lost in the story, but it didn¿t have that effect on me.In some ways, the house at Ravenswood is the main character of the book, as the chapters involving Michael and Emily are interspersed with scenes that occurred in the house¿s past. These scenes weren¿t given chronologically, however, and so I found them disorienting.I did find it fascinating how many of the adults were willing to believe that Emily truly had a talent for spirit knocking, especially as it was a real craze that occurred around that time. I also found the dynamic between the twins and their mother intriguing, as I can¿t imagine having so little knowledge of what my children were doing with their free time.The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead is Paul Elwork¿s first novel, and while I didn¿t love it, I enjoyed his writing style enough to watch for his next one.
erikschreppel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first quarter of this novel did not hold me. I thought the prose at times wanted too badly to be southern gothic, and with the 1920's Philadelphia setting that just became cumbersome. At times the speech that he wrote for the children was too adult for 13 year olds. But once the plot moved from the exposition stage into the meat of the story, things started to pick up. His prose, which earlier seemed shaky and not connected with the characters or setting, improved and became less evident. The plot itself was original, and he did a good job keeping it rooted in reality and not jumping into the supernatural. As a cynic at times, I was glad to see he didn't take that twist of "first they were faking it, but now it is real" leap that so many lesser writers would have. This being his first novel, it certainly had that ring to it. The setting he chose was based on where he lived. But it would have been better to place the story in the South. Gothic is just plain creepier set there than roaring twenties Philly. The speeches he wrote for various characters at times seemed wooden and scripted, but all in all he did a good job and has enough interesting ideas to overcome first novel pitfalls.
berylweidenbach on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very unusual book, and one I had a hard time putting down! The story takes place post World War I. Twin siblings Emily and Michael have lost their father in France during the war, and live a rather isolated life with their mother Naomi and a well loved family servant Mary, on the Delaware river in 1925 on a very old family estate with a rich history. Emily finds she can make an unusual sound in her ankle, a sort of popping that is disembodied. When she show this to michael, he talks her into a scheme as summer entertainment. She is hesitant but Michael pushes her to do it. At first it is fairly innocent fun with neighborhood children. Emily claims to be able to speak to the dead through a long dead aunt and the answers are "yes" and "no" by one pop or two. This situation escalates as children attending confide in their parents and Michael pushes the fraud forward with disasterous results. The writing was lovely and lyrical, the story well done, even though the characters themselves were not especially likable. Very interesting to have the two timelines overlapping in the history of the house, and in the story. Emily eventually tries to comfort a grieving parent by reassurances that his desceased son is happy in the afterlife and this makes her feel that the deception has caused some good. When she evenually is overcome by guilt and confesses her lie, life is changed forever for many people. We all lie every day. Is it ever acceptable to deceive another, even if we think it is for their own good? How many ways do we deceive ourselves? There were many lingering questions to digest long after I finished this book.... I thought it was origional, thought provoking and especially liked the descriptions of what happened to the characters later in life. How our actions, well intentioned or not, affect ourselves and those around us is serious food for thought to ponder long after the book is back on the shelf. And possibly to come back to...
abandoned on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It's elegantly written and isn't a typical ghost story. The story is more about the ghosts we carry with us and live with: the choices, the lies, our lost loved ones. I liked the parallel backstories of Noami's family & Ravenwood Mansion. I was also really interested in our involvement in the First World War from this author's perspective. I found this a sweet, engaging book and would highly recommend it.
jjameli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Girl Who Would Speak For the Dead took me awhile to read. The pace of the story was slow for me, and at times I would find myself bored. Twins Emily and Michael are very weird and it so worked with the eeriness of the book. I loved knowing what they were thinking especially Emily. The background that Mr. Elwork wrote brings so much to the story, for me it's what brought me back the story after putting it down for a bit. I didn't like the pace. I thought it would start getting slow and I would find myself bored at times (usually when I would put it down). I wanted a little bit more action.The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead is about lies, and digging yourself deeper and deeper into them as well, as discovering lies.
Krista23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found myself pacing this read. I would put it down faster than any other reads, but also found myself picking it up again faster, wanting to know what happens. The book is split into sections and we learn about several different families and the way the war/death/sickness and daily lives have impacted them. The majority of the book we are following twins, Michael and Emily who have decided to spend their long summer days tricking their friends into believing that Emily can talk to the dead. By usuing her angles she can pop them to send off a loud/soft/short or long sound into the air as so noboy can figure out where the sound had come from. She originally played this trick on her brother, who then decided to trick their friends. The tea house they say gets a better ghost reception is where they invite their friends. But this room only provides for a more acoustical sound to arise making it harder to tell where the knocks come from. After a success tricking their friends,They venture into meeting up with older neighbors whom are wanting to talk to their deceased loved ones and as their (the twins) rules state Emily is "Sprit Knocking" so they can only ask yes or no questions and would hear a knock in return. Many people came away from those meetings with different ideas of what's happening but overall everybody believs because they cannot figure out how she is doing it.The other sections in this book are family history. The families that shared the land, or the family of the spirits they were trying to contact and what was going on in the war during this time. And how the war effects the families at home.While I found the writing amazing, and it really kept me coming back, the story made me feel at a loss. Some questions never answered. Some of the families stories never quite completed. It was very compelling but left you in a state of sadness maybe or melancholy. Emily and Michael are always up front with the reader through the well written pages that these are schemes, they are plotted and studied and they put on a show for their neighbors. Although the neighbors for the majority have some kind of reasoning to not believe them. The comfort they feel in the thought that their loved ones just might really be close even beyond death it still a comfort to them.A book about sad people, wrong decisions, inability to push through grief, but content with maintaining it to certain levels. And a story about two twins that one summer maybe had just a little too much time on their hands. Trying to escape their own bordom, greif and melancholy.
-Cee- on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Secrets, lies, and the complexities of the mind form a web of deceit in which the weak and vulnerable are bound in this first novel by Paul Elwork. This author takes thirteen year old twins and their imaginative summer play to a world filled with the pain of grief. He explores the value of lying and pretending in order to make people feel better - and what happens when the truth is exposed.Despite the fact that the writing is a bit awkward and under-developed at times, the story is bizarre. The children are weird. Their family history is complex and peculiar. So, the overall effect is one of a tug-of-war between what is real and what is not. Desperate minds believe what they need to believe for sanity and survival. How crucial is communication among the living; how irresistible between the living and the dead?
BookBully on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What is it with me and Amy Einhorn books? I detested "The Help" and wasn't able to finish it or "The Postmistress." That said, I did enjoy "Bad Things Happen" by Harry Dolan so maybe there's hope.Unfortunately, "The Girl Who Would Speak For the Dead" by Paul Elwork falls into the first category. The plot intrigued me but the writing comes off as so self-conscious that I felt as if I was sitting next to the author as he struggled to put words down. Other reviewers will no doubt explain the plot better than I can. Or a potential reader can look at the dust jacket flap. For me, the portions which occurred at the end of the 19th century were much more interesting and better-written than the main plot which takes place in the post WW1 years. For the life of me I can't understand why but it's as if the author was more interested in those characters, in that time frame.Perhaps Elwork will be one of those authors who improves with each book he writes.
mckait on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you listen to the story of any family through several generations, what you hear is never a simple tale. Nor is such a story without it's good folks or it's bad. Much of it is like a gently flowing river, however. Flowing softly around a few obstacles here and there along the way, is how I would describe each story, with splashing disturbing the flow now and then. Emily and Michael have lost their father to the war. They are left much to their own devices, being good children, and due also to having a mother who was, shall we call her, distracted? For thirteen years this worked well and they lived up to the trust offered them. They were unusual in that their family had more money than most of their neighbors. That had long been the way of the family, living in a home set just a little apart from others in distance and in a gentle feeling of rank or position. Until they arrived at the somewhat perilous age of thirteen, they were children in age and behavior. But, being perhaps a little more intelligent than some of their peers, and clearly less supervised, that summer was to shape their lives in more ways than anyone could have suspected. After discovering an ability to click the joints in her ankle in such a way as to create a rather loud crack, or tapping sound, the set out to have a little fun. Sadly, as so often happens, fun turns to mischief and someone gets hurt. But who and how badly is for you to discover on your own. Along side the story of of this fateful thirteenth year, we hear the story of their ancestors and of the failings and secrets that each family harbors in the memories of those who care to keep them. This is a journey worth taking with Michael and Emily.The author suggests that there is a flavor of the Spiritualist Fox sisters here, and he isn't wrong. But, it is far from a simple retelling of their story, and knowing the Fox story simply adds some spice to an already enjoyable read. I recommend that you give it a try.
dissed1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I just couldn't follow this book. It seemed to me like it was all over the place, jumping from one era to another, throwing in too many characters and plotlines and not tying a whole lot of it together. Most disappointingly, The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead just never delivered the promised suspense or elegant writing. I had high hopes for this book. I'm sorry to say I would never recommend it to anyone.
sjurban on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is not really about a girl who can speak for the dead. It's about a girl and her twin brother who trick people into thinking that she can speak for the dead. Her method, called spirit knocking, is a little far fetched. In fact, much of this book is quite unrealistic. In the intro, the author asks for the reader to "suspend disbelief" while reading. I can do that. I love books that require the reader to suspend disbelief. I love getting lost in a world that is different from the one that we live in. I think it's a bad sign when the author has to tell you to do it though. It's like when someone tells a joke, then asks you if you get it. When a book is well written, you just fall into it and believe whatever the author is telling you as fact. The writing here is too immature though. The writer had great ideas and a good story to tell, but it never quite got there. There were pieces of the story that deserved more attention (the tunnel, the connection between the twins) and pieces of the story that get way too much attention (the magician).Overall, it was still a decent read. The author made me care enough to wanteto see what would happen to the characters in the end.There were stylistic things that turned me off too. First names were used way too much and the viewpoint seemed to switch a few times, but I did read an uncorrected proof, and I hope that those few things will be rectified before the final copy comes out.
Liz1564 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The year is 1925 and twins Emily and Michael Stewart are bored with long days of summer vacation. When Emily discovers a trick of cracking her ankle so that the knocking sound seems to come from the air, she and Michael embark on a spooky game. They gather a group of neighborhood children and pretend that Emily has contacted the spirit of her great-aunt who answers questions from beyond the grave. Emily makes her special noise...one crack for "no" and two cracks for "yes". At first, the game is harmless fun, the equivalent of ghost stories around a camp fire. But then two of the children tell adults in their families and the deception becomes more serious.I found Emily and Michael to be very interesting characters. They are smart, privileged, and very mature for their age. They know that they are deceiving their audience, but, especially with the adults, they are aware that the adults really want to be deceived. The wounds of World War One are still raw and usually sensible people are trying to find an explanation for their losses and also trying to atone for any pain they may have caused their dead. The twins seem to help their sitters achieve this goal. When Michael wants to improve their "act", Emily puts an end to the 'spirit-knocking" . But Emily cannot resist one last appeal for help which leads to tragedy.The subplot to this story of spiritualism is Emily's research into her family history. She starts by finding out all she can about her 19-year-old spirit guide.Did her great-aunt die by accident or suicide? Why did her uncle disappear? Was there a breach between her beloved parents before her father died in the war? Why was a mysterious tunnel dug from the cellar of the main house to the garden house where Emily held her seances? I think I enjoyed the subplot more than the spirit-knocking plot. Most of the the questions remain tantalizingly unresolved, with only hints as to the answers.This novel is beautifully written and a quick, satisfying read.
TheTwoDs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Paul Elwork expands his independently published debut "The Tea House" into the haunting and evocative The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead. Emily and Michael are precocious 13 year old twins, living in a large estate on the banks of the Delaware River near Philadelphia in 1925. Their father was killed in France where he served as a medic during the Great War and they live with their young mother Naomi and servant Mary.Emily discovers a talent of making a loud knocking noise with her ankle but with no visible movement to observers. She and Michael begin duping the neighborhood children into believing the sound is caused by ghosts. From there, the twins become involved deeper and deeper into "spiritknocking", an early form of spiritualism, enchanting old ladies who wish to contact their deceased husbands, meeting a so-called medium and eventually performing for the grief-stricken father of a young man killed in the War.Elwork beautifully creates his world, painting the landscape and showering it in mists, flowing water and lush greenery. All serve as metaphors for the unknown afterlife.Grief is a powerful presence in the novel; the twins father is missed by their mother, a neighborhood family locks itself away after their boy is killed in action to the point where their surviving son is almost an afterthought. Emily learns much from Mary about her family's history and its own hidden secrets.A pleasant mix of gothic novel and family history, Elwork's debut proves poignant and powerful. The ultimate lessons Emily learns may be the ones she is least interested in learning.
mcelhra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One day in 1925, 13 year old Emily Stewart discovers that she has an unusual ability ¿ she can secretly crack a joint in her ankle that sounds like a mysterious knocking sound. Emily and her twin brother Michael decide to put on little performances for the neighborhood children and convince them that these ¿spirit knockings¿ are coming from a teenage girl who drowned nearby several years before. Word of these spirit knockings spreads and soon adults wanting to connect with dead loved ones of their own are asking for sessions with Emily and Michael. The twins agree and soon they are in over their heads trying to help adults deal with real grief issues, guilt and family secrets.At the same Emily and Michael are conducting the spirit knocking sessions and discovering the family secrets of some of the adults in town, Emily is discovering that her own family harbors secrets in its past as well by secretly reading a scrapbook her mother has put together and by talking to her nanny (who was Emily¿s mother¿s nanny as well.) The book flashes back to these earlier time periods in Emily¿s family history as she is learning about them.This book is more than just a creepy ghost story. It¿s about lies ¿ the lies we tell ourselves, the lies we tell others and whether or not it¿s ever okay to deceive someone. And it¿s about grief and guilt and how those two emotions are intertwined and at times inseparable.This book had so many layers and was really well-written. It¿s another fantastic offering from Amy Einhorn books. I really liked it and highly recommend it.
cammykitty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I used to enjoy writing snarky reviews about books I didn't like. I don't anymore. If this weren't an ER book, I wouldn't write this review. Now, I'm well aware of the great effort and skill it takes to write any novel, even one that doesn't quite live up to its potential. I also now wonder if there isn't something about me that didn't mesh with the book, rather than the book not meshing with me. I wanted to like [The Girl who would Speak for the Dead]. It's a great premise, a historical novel loosely based on spiritualism and the infamous Fox sisters who profited on the grief that was ever-present in the wake of World War I and the flu epidemic that actually killed more people than the war. Elwork's themes include naivete, the need for closure and forgiveness, and the need to defend one's beliefs. If you know someone badly needs to believe, but also know the basis for their belief is a hoax, what do you do? I've been trying to figure out why the book didn't work for me. It had several elements I like, but on the whole, the characterization didn't feel driven. None of the main characters badly wanted anything. They didn't take charge. They muddle along through their "game" which gets out of their control. The peripheral characters had deep desires, and the main characters used those desires. The main characters did their best to avoid thinking about the fact they were using people. I didn't like what the main characters were doing, and I didn't like them either. Not that you need to like characters in a book, but the plot lacked tension too. It did pick up in the end, but by then, Elwork had already lost me. I wanted a richer, ethically murkier book than this was. I'm glad other people are enjoying it, but this one isn't for me.
pbadeer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It wasn't until after I finished this book that I bothered to see if the author had written anything else. No surprise to me, this was a debut novel.Normally I enjoy reading debut works, and I give a lot of slack to the writers for giving it a shot. In many cases, I feel in the end that a good editor should have stepped in and trimmed things up a bit because initial works can be rather wordy for no purpose. For this book, however, I was wishing an editor would have stepped in and beefed things up a bit.There are some really good ideas in the book, and many passages which are exceptionally well written. But it suffers from a plethora of partially fleshed out ideas which seem to have been interesting to the author but in the end, never got enough page time to turn in to anything. If this had been a mystery, I would have accused him of purposely including red herrings. In this case though, I think he just didn't know where to go with some of the story lines (I'm dying to know what happened to the missing brother...). Kudos to the graphic designer for the cover art - it completely attracted me to the book, and credit does go to the author for developing enough of a story to make me finish it. But I think his next work (and I do believe there should be a next work) needs to have some serious storyboarding done and more effort spent on fully developing some of the interesting ideas he seems to have.
Aerrin99 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book with a promising premise and a sadly mediocre execution. The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead is based loosely on the idea of the Fox sisters, who convinced many that they could communicate with the dead through a series of 'knocks' that were in actuality created through cracking joints in their feet. It's an interesting premise, and with the right story to surround it it ought to have things to say about life and death and truth and deception and grief and healing. And the book /tries/. It clearly /wants/ to say these things. It just never manages it. The characterization is thin to non-existent, and this fact is noticeable very early on. If this hadn't been an ER book, I'm not sure I would've made it past the first few chapters. Elwork doesn't build people, he builds vessels for his premise (which comes uncomfortably close to feeling like a gimmick). The story is just as thin. Emily discovers her talent, her brother pulls the idea of convincing other children that she is speaking to ghosts out of nowhere, and they proceed to spend a summer duping first the neighborhood children and then a small group of older ladies. Nothing particularly builds, and through it all it's difficult to care even a little. Elwork comes close when Emily begins to visit the father of a friend, whose son died in WWI, but ultimately even that has a sort of 'pasted on' feel. It's made worse by intervening chapters that reveal the amazingly boring history of the house Emily lives in. Worse still is the way these chapters hang onto the story and absolutely refuse to carry any thematic weight or provide any sense of continuity. In fact, the first several were so confusing and random that it wasn't until the third that I even realized what they were meant to be. They feel like nothing more than padding.This is a book with one very small idea, and no big ones. A premise is not enough to carry a novel, for all that this one certainly tries. I didn't hate the book - I was simply bored with it, from start to finish. I wouldn't bother.
crazyjster on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead by Paul ElworkThis was a rather creative idea put into writing, and turned into a fun and entertaining read! The book is about a scheme two precocious thirteen year old¿s concoct to entertain, and spook the neighborhood children, by convincing them that the main character, Emily, can contact the dead. Like most childhood schemes, adults eventually find out, and Emily finds herself in predicaments deceiving adults and learning some of their deepest secrets. It is told from a thirteen year old's point of view, for the most part, with some historical flashbacks, as Emily begins to uncover some of her own family secrets.The book was not exactly what I thought it would be about, instead it was more about family bonds, secrets, deceit, love, and lessons learned. Though, the title and description may have been a bit misleading, I will admit, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and read it in one afternoon. I love being surprised by books I normally would not read!
kittycrochettwo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While the premise of this story captured my attention, I really couldn't get into the story. When thirteen year old Emily Stewart realizes she can preform this weird little trick of cracking her ankle to make it sound like a knocking noise she and her brother decide to put on a show for the neighborhood kids telling them it is a spirit knocking. Soon word spreads and adults start wanting her to contact their dead loved ones, and the children realize it as easy as it seems because they get the stories of how people died, and also have to deal with grieving loved ones.I think what I wanted was a spooky,scary ghost story, but really that wasn't what the story was about. Instead it was about two kids fooling people into believing they could contact their dead loved ones. I kept waiting for something big to happen but it never really did. For me I will probably pick this book up again and reread it just to see if I can perhaps connect with it the second time around. Overall a story that just wasn't what I expected,and couldn't connect with.
CurrLee33 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was hoping to enjoy this book but it fell really short. It was much more young adult for my taste. I thought this would be more supernatural and dark but it turned out to be focused entirely on the hoax the children would play on their childhood friends (which was repeated throughout the story). As another reviewer stated, I too kept waiting for something else ot happen and that just never came about. While I did like the historical time period the book was set in, that alone wasn't enough to win me over. Overall, I felt the description of the book was misleading and ultimately, I was disappointed with the story. Not recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is extremely well written. The two main characters, a brother and sister, are strange, independent creatures who make an odd discovery one summer day that changes their lives forever. I loved everything about this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm about halfway through and have moved on to other books. I'll get back to it, but it (so far) hasn't been as compelling as I expected from the title. Am enjoying "Swamplandia!" much more.