Friday, December 17, 2010

Picture The Dead - Adele Griffin, Lisa Brown

Picture The Dead by Adele Griffin illus. by Lisa Brown.
Jennie and her twin brother, Toby moved in with their Uncle Henry and Aunt Clara after their parents died. Jennie's distance Uncle and Aunt, are well to do and have two sons, Will and Quinn.

After Toby dies in battle (Civil War) Jennie was left alone, but Toby's ghost did visit on occasion. Aunt Clara doesn't think much of Jennie. In 1864, the only thing keeping 17 yr old Jennie in good standing is her engagement to Will. When Quinn returns wounded from the war, with news of Will's death, Jennie knows are future is in question.

Will may be dead but his ghost won't leave Jennie alone, she must figure out why. Does Will have something to tell her? Or is Will refusing to let Jennie go even in death? Or is he jealous now that Jennie has fallen in love with Quinn?

Griffin's lauguage is the right amount of beauty and questioning darkness. And 100% lovely.

"Quinn, I didn't draw on the glass." He takes another step away from me. "Who, then? My brother's damaged and wandering spirit? As a reminder of his everlasting love for you?" I feel his exasperation pulse through every moment . I have no answer the tears that well in my eyes.

"If this is your game, then so be it," he says levelly. "But remember, love isn't a nightmare, or an empty bed, or a print on fogged glass. Love is flesh and blood. Don't you see me? Because I'm right here, and I'm very much yours."

Then he leaves, shutting the door firmly behind him. I'm pained to have led the conversation into such a fraught and stupid place. Now I'm alone with my view and a knowledge that no matter how lovely this room is, it won't give me the peace I crave. I press my forehead to the window. "If I'm a ghoul Will, it's your doing," I say under my breath. " Let me have my future. If you ever loved me, you'd free me."

Picture the Dead sounded like something I would love and I did. It's a well crafted, entertaining, page turner. Griffin kept me guessing until the very end. Lisa Brown's illustrations added another dimension to the story. I only put the book down when there was nothing left to read. Ages 13up
Read an excerpt

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