The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead

Paul Elwork, Putnam/Amy Einhorn, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-15717-2
Loosely based on true events from the early 20th century, Elwork's first novel poignantly depicts the desperate need of people to believe in life after death. In 1925, at her family's suburban Philadelphia estate, 13-year-old Emily Stewart discovers she can make a loud rapping noise with her ankle. With her sly twin brother, Michael, Emily entertains gullible schoolmates with "knockings" that spirits purportedly make to answer questions about the afterlife. When adults who have suffered the loss of loved ones start consulting her as a spirit medium, her efforts to give them consolation begin to seem increasingly like cruel deceptions. Interweaving Emily's experiences with those of several generations of family and friends devastated by tragic loss, Elwork paints an unforgettable portrait of individuals traumatized by death and unhinged by grief. The subtle and moving portrayal of people in the grip of powerful emotions that overwhelm rational thinking will haunt readers long after they put the book down. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/21/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-48525-5
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-48649-8
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-425-24542-2
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