In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. At her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?Featuring haunting archival early-20th-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.
Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black lives up to her striking name she s a curious girl fascinated by science, living in 1918, a year the devil designed, as Mary puts it. With WWI raging on and Mary s father on trial for treason, she goes to live with her Aunt Eva in San Diego, Calif., even as influenza sweeps across America, devastating the population and rendering those left behind paranoid and weary. Grieving for her childhood beau Stephen, who died while fighting overseas with the Army, Mary goes outside during a thunderstorm and is struck dead by lightning for a few minutes. When Mary comes to, she discovers she can communicate with the dead, including Stephen. Winters s masterful debut novel is an impressively researched marriage of the tragedies of wartime, the 1918 flu epidemic, the contemporaneous Spiritualism craze, and a chilling love story and mystery. Unsettling b&w period photographs appear throughout, la Ransom Riggs s Miss Peregrine s Home for Peculiar Children, greatly adding to the novel s deliciously creepy atmosphere. Ages 12 up.
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Definitely in my top 5. Such a perfect mi of eerie, mysterious, romantic, and heartwarming. Seriously could not put it down! Read it all in one day and he ending was not disappointing. A must read for sure!