A Certain Slant of Light is an achingly beautiful ghost story 

A Certain Slant of Light is an achingly beautiful ghost story 

A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb is my favorite ghost story of all time.  It is one of those books I go back to again and again, and it never disappoints.  I find it achingly beautiful.  If you are looking for a haunting tale with real depth and soul, this is it.  

Helen has haunted a long line of artists and writers, an unnoticed muse lingering for over a hundred years.  She has to cling to them because if she ever lets go, she will go back to the nothingness.  When the first living person to acknowledge her in over a hundred and thirty years is a student in her latest writer’s high school English class, she is frightened but intrigued.  When they find a companionship beyond any they ever dreamed possible, they develop a plan that will allow them to be together in more than just spirit, a plan that could set them free or doom them to a future they could never foresee.  Beautifully written and carefully plotted, this ghost story haunted me long after I turned the last page.  While this is considered YA, Helen is a character with a maturity that will speak to adult readers.  The prose and meaningful themes transcend age as well.  This isn’t a horror book.  The grim realities the characters endure are more upsetting than frightening, but they resonate in their terrifying reality.  The ending is especially cathartic and hopeful in a way I never would have predicted.  Language and situations are appropriate for high school, but there are some mature themes.  

This book is available in the MHS library if someone hasn’t stolen it.  I admit it is one worth stealing.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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