In this sweetly snarky, poignant tale of the supernatural, the terrors come less from the afterlife than from this one–losing loved ones, losing your home, losing your job.
The Year of Shadows
As in The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls (2012), Legrand shows twin knacks for creating creepy supernatural elements and thoroughly scary experiences for her central characters.
Legrand . . . has created a horror-tinged tale of triumph over loss and the destructive nature of hopelessness, that is full of well-rounded characters, a spooky gothic mood, and eerie glimpses into the past lives of the ghosts.
The characters are well drawn; the specters are particularly appealing. At its heart, this not-too-scary ghost story is about relationships and repairing the hurt that people cause one another.
A sad, happy, strange book, with some of the most memorable ghosts I’ve ever read. It’s full of shadows, but it’s also full of sparks and light and big, glowing scenes, and while it’ll break your heart more than once, it somehow manages to glue it all back together by the end. I loved it.
Claire [Legrand’s] fantastically spooky The Year of Shadows will keep you turning its pages well into the night, even though the floorboards are creaking and funny shapes lurk in the corner of your eye. Such is the allure of tempestuous, terrific Olivia, the complex and utterly real heroine who is suffering from one misfortune and indignity too many–and that’s before the ghosts arrive. Though we soon see that sometimes ghosts are the least of the things that haunt us, the book assures us that with spirit and hope we can create light in the most shadowy of places. Also, like all the best books, it has a really great cat.