We Hear the Dead

Dianne K. Salerni, Sourcebooks Fire, $9.99 paper (448p) ISBN 978-1-4022-3092-9
In 1848, the Fox sisters—Maggie, 14, and Kate, 11—decide to play a prank: an accident of physiology allows both girls to make loud cracking noises with the joints in their legs and feet, and thereby convince the family that a spirit is haunting their house. For Maggie, it's the beginning of a lifelong deception; for Kate, it's an unlocking of her true spiritual gifts. Under the direction of their older sister, Leah, the girls move from amazing their rural neighbors to holding séances in upscale Rochester, where the scrutiny and stratagems become much more intense. The girls' longing for attention and Leah's greed motivate the charade, rapidly deforming their lives. First-time novelist Salerni tells the story primarily in Maggie's voice (with some chapters narrated by Kate) and sticks closely to facts upon which the story is based, to a degree that some readers may find exhaustive and which results in loosely connected events and dangling threads. But those fascinated by Spiritualism should welcome how the sisters' opposing perspectives result in a representation of reality that does not completely discount the possibility of supernatural agency. Ages 12–up. (May)
Reviewed on: 09/27/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 402 pages - 978-1-4022-5271-6
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4022-5270-9
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