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Review: Nothing But Ghosts

August 4, 2009

Nothing But Ghosts

Sixteen-year old Katie and her father are still grieving over the death of Katie’s mother.  Rather than seeking out her friends, who remind her of her mom, Katie has taken a job working for Miss Martine, the town recluse.  Miss Martine lives in a mansion with beautiful grounds, but hasn’t been seen in over fifty years.  Katie and the rest of the crew have been instructed to dig out a foundation for a new gazebo.  Katie becomes friendly with Danny, a co-worker, and  with the help of the local librarian, they make a startling discovery.

Katie’s dad restores paintings and someone has given him a new one to work on.  He makes a startling discovery of his own and he and Katie are surprised when they find that their discoveries are related.  Along the way, they make some friends who help them deal with their grief, but Katie says:

I sit wondering if I’ll ever come to terms with losing my one and only mother, and then I suddenly feel grateful for the things that I still have, and the new things, too.

I’ve seen My Friend Amy rave about Beth Kephart‘s work for a while and now I understand why!  I loved Nothing but Ghosts and can’t recommend it enough.  I thought Katie was wonderful – her grief was evident, yet she was strong and self sufficient.  I wanted to take her in my arms and hug her.  Her dad was a great character, too – doing his best to help  Katie, but not really knowing how, while dealing with his own grief.  I loved Ms. McDermott, the glamorous librarian, too.

Nothing but Ghosts has so much more to offer than great characters, though.  The writing is beautiful and it has a great mystery that is unraveled piece by piece and even a little romance thrown in.  This story is sure to appeal to teens and adults alike.

42 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2009 6:36 am

    That was a very powerful line. I see now that I have to get this book, just too many good reviews from blogegrs whose opinions I trust.

  2. August 4, 2009 8:06 am

    Ever since your comment on my blog, I’ve been looking forward to your review. It does sound very good and I look forward to reading it!

  3. August 4, 2009 8:06 am

    Lovely review. And I too thought the character of Ms. McDermott was fantastic. And that touch of romance was just perfect.

  4. August 4, 2009 8:19 am

    “The writing is beautiful and it has a great mystery that is unraveled piece by piece and even a little romance thrown in. This story is sure to appeal to teens and adults alike.”

    That settles it. This adult is going to pick this up this weekend and dive in. You guys make it sound so wonderful!!

  5. August 4, 2009 8:22 am

    Fabulous review. This book sure is something very special. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone who doesn’t appreciate it!

  6. August 4, 2009 8:32 am

    What a great review! I was afraid it would be too sad but it sounds like it is much too good to avoid!

  7. August 4, 2009 9:18 am

    I’ve heard a lot of bloggers raving about this book. thanks for another great review. I’m going to have to move this up the tbr list.

  8. August 4, 2009 9:20 am

    I have this one in the pile. Your review reminds me that I really want to read it.

  9. August 4, 2009 9:22 am

    That sounds great. And, I love the cover too!

  10. August 4, 2009 9:41 am

    This sounds really great. I haven’t read any Kephart. A painting restorer sounds like a really interesting and cool profession.

  11. August 4, 2009 10:50 am

    After all the glowing reviews I’ve seen of this book, I’m adding it to my to-read list.


  12. August 4, 2009 10:54 am

    I really need to read this. I bought my copy as part of Amy’s project. This continues to sound wonderful!

  13. August 4, 2009 11:23 am

    I haven’t read anything by Beth Kephart yet but I’d like to. This book sounds so good.

  14. August 4, 2009 11:27 am

    This was on my Friday Finds a few weeks ago, so I am really glad to hear it is as good as people say it is.

  15. August 4, 2009 11:44 am

    Glad you liked it. So many good things about this book.

  16. August 4, 2009 12:02 pm

    Great review! I definitely agree that there is something here for teens and adults.

  17. Carol permalink
    August 4, 2009 12:02 pm

    Thanks for the great review. Sounds like a beautiful story.

  18. August 4, 2009 12:08 pm

    Rhapsody…it’s sad but not too. Strikes just the perfect tone, I think!

    Great review, Kathy, I’m thrilled you liked it since you like so many guy books. 😉

  19. August 4, 2009 12:20 pm

    When I first saw this one I was like, “meh” but I have to say that it does sound a lot more appealing after reading your review. I may pick it up. Plus, I am always looking for stuff for my son to read.

  20. August 4, 2009 1:58 pm

    I bought this thanks to Amy, but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. So glad to hear you liked it!

  21. stacybuckeye permalink
    August 4, 2009 2:31 pm

    I’ve added this to my list. Thanks for the great review!

  22. August 4, 2009 3:48 pm

    Great minds read alike (My Friend Amy).

    I have to pick this up. A bit different storyline and sounds interesting. Thanks!

  23. August 4, 2009 4:39 pm

    I’m interested to get to this book in my TBR pile. I purchased it as part of Amy’s drive but haven’t yet had the opportunity to get to it. Hopefully soon!

  24. August 4, 2009 5:02 pm

    It’s a lovely book, isn’t it? I’m glad you enjoyed it too!

  25. August 4, 2009 5:06 pm

    I thought this book was really good as well! Nice review!

  26. August 4, 2009 5:34 pm

    This sounds like one I’d enjoy, Kathy. Thanks for the great review.

  27. August 4, 2009 7:02 pm

    Great review. I’m guessing this book is one of those stories that just sticks to you because it feels real and explores powerful emotions. =)

  28. August 4, 2009 7:06 pm

    Kathy —

    You overwhelm me. I have read your blog and read your comments across the blog-o-sphere, and I know what a strong critic you are. It touches me deeply that this book moved you.

    Thank you.


  29. August 4, 2009 7:15 pm

    I have to read this one!

  30. August 4, 2009 7:47 pm

    I read about this at Amy’s blog. I have not bought this book, but it really sounds good. That quote is beautiful.. and so true. Though I am not sure if I will have the insight or the patience to think like that at the time of crisis.
    Thank you.

  31. August 4, 2009 9:21 pm

    This is definitely on my wish list to get the next time I have some book money!

  32. August 4, 2009 11:30 pm

    I really enjoyed this book too. It had a little Nancy Drew feel to it for me (I was a HUGE FAN as a kid). Loved it.

  33. August 5, 2009 1:28 am

    What a nice comment from the author. I always think it’s nice when the author takes a minute from their busy schedule to leave a note.

    I must say, I loved your review, too. And look forward to reading this and several of her others. I’ve just been checking out the author’s blog and also my favorite online bookstore. I’m going to be parting with some more of that green stuff!

  34. August 5, 2009 8:13 am

    I bought this in support of My Friend Amy’s book drive for the author. I am anxious to read it and am so glad that you gave it high praise.

  35. August 5, 2009 9:36 am

    i was moved to purchase this book through amy’s link and also loved it! i work with teenagers on a daily basis and i’ve read lots of YA fiction–it makes it difficult for me to read YA books that aren’t authentic because i see how teenagers act and feel each day.

    nothing but ghosts doesn’t try too hard to use teen slang and deals with real issues in an honest way. the book is clean and doesn’t perpetuate the ‘more is more’ culture that some of the other YA books seem to encourage.

    glad you enjoyed this one! 🙂

  36. August 5, 2009 10:31 am

    Beautiful writing – yes!

    I picked this up as part of Amy’s book drive, and I’m so glad I did. My 13- year old is going to review it with me, so we’ll have both YA and not-so-young adult perspectives. 🙂

  37. August 5, 2009 2:21 pm

    Beautiful review, well said.

  38. August 5, 2009 3:23 pm

    I loved this book too Kathy!! Excellent review!

  39. August 5, 2009 3:34 pm

    I’m in process with this one right now. I had to special order it through the bookstore and wait 10 days for it to arrive. And then, being in the process of moving, I decided to wait another few days to pick it up. So I picked it up and bought The Hunger Games and–well, you know how I handled The Hunger Games. I figured if anyone could get my head out of that world, Beth Kephart could. (Do you read her blog? I love it.)

  40. August 5, 2009 7:49 pm

    This sounds like a very thought provoking book that deals realistically with grief. I think I am going to put this book on my wish list. It looks like you really liked it. I think my daughter would love the book too. Thanks for the great review.

  41. August 9, 2009 10:34 am

    It sounds good! I really want to read this one : it seems every review of it has excerpts of the book and it really makes me want to pick it up! Great review!

  42. August 13, 2009 4:20 pm

    This one I want to read for sure! I’ve heard so much about Beth Kephart too and have never read her books.

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