A Ghost Story for October

It’s been a minute since I last posted.  I’ve been doing some writing and editing.  Also, planning for NaNoWriMo next month (that’s National Novel Writing Month), hoping to write the first draft of my cozy mystery during November.   

And I binge watched Younger, a show about a 40-year-old posing as 26 when she can’t find a job in publishing at “her age”.   Starring Sutton Foster, Hillary Duff and Debi Mazar, I was alternately charmed, frustrated and amused.  Highly recommended-it’s a great show but you’ve been warned, there will be times when you’ll want to take characters and shake some sense into them, which really is the sign of any good soap opera!

Here’s another recommendation – Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland.  I don’t recall what I was searching for on Amazon, but this book showed up on the result page.  The cover drew me in and I clicked through the Look Inside feature and read the Prologue, which shook me with both the story and the excellent writing.  After a “cruel act that took her home and her father from her”, Ophelia begins to see the ghosts all around her.  Moving north to seek shelter with troublesome relatives, her Aunt Rose is her one bright spot and when the old lady realizes that Ophie shares her ability to see haints, she becomes her mentor. 

When her mother secures a job for Ophie alongside her at Daffodil Manor, she’s bitter that she doesn’t get to continue her schooling but settles into the job of being at the beck and call of an old rich white matriarch.  The ghost of a beautiful, high-spirited woman helps her through her first difficult day and Ophie begins to understand that with her ability to communicate with ghosts comes a self-imposed responsibility to help them cross over to the next world.  She also sees that there is much sadness as well as lingering violence permeating the house and she wants to help her new friend, Clara, discover why she’s unable to move on.

Ophie’s Ghosts combines historical racism, the world of the supernatural and a murder mystery with the sensibilities and longings of a young black girl in 1922 Pittsburgh.  Written for middle grade readers, the book will grab any lover of a good story well told.

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