Book Review: The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead

The Girl Who Would Speak for the DeadThe Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead by Paul Elwork

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One day in 1925, 13 year old Emily Stewart discovers that she has an unusual ability – she can secretly crack a joint in her ankle that sounds like a mysterious knocking sound. Emily and her twin brother Michael decide to put on little performances for the neighborhood children and convince them that these “spirit knockings” are coming from a teenage girl who drowned nearby several years before. Word of these spirit knockings spreads and soon adults wanting to connect with dead loved ones of their own are asking for sessions with Emily and Michael. The twins agree and soon they are in over their heads trying to help adults deal with real grief issues, guilt and family secrets.

At the same Emily and Michael are conducting the spirit knocking sessions and discovering the family secrets of some of the adults in town, Emily is discovering that her own family harbors secrets in its past as well by secretly reading a scrapbook her mother has put together and by talking to her nanny (who was Emily’s mother’s nanny as well.) The book flashes back to these earlier time periods in Emily’s family history as she is learning about them.

This book is more than just a creepy ghost story. It’s about lies – the lies we tell ourselves, the lies we tell others and whether or not it’s ever okay to deceive someone. And it’s about grief and guilt and how those two emotions are intertwined and at times inseparable.

This book had so many layers and was really well-written. It’s another fantastic offering from Amy Einhorn books. I really liked it and highly recommend it.

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(I received this book courtesy of the publisher.)