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Nothing but Ghosts

by Beth Kephart

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11419176,951 (3.91)8
After her mother's death, sixteen-year-old Katie copes with her grief by working in the garden of an old estate, where she becomes intrigued by the story of a reclusive millionaire, while her father, an art restorer, manages in his own way to come to terms with the death of his wife.



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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
while the mysterious events that surround the house and gardens where Katie is working serve to classify it as a mystery, the better part of the story is Katie and her father coming to terms with the death of Katie's mother ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
This was an amazing book, and beyond lovely. From the size and layout of the text to the luminescent quality of the words, it felt special and like a privilege to read. Kephart's word choices are brilliant and all the while I was eager to return to this book, sit in a patch of sunshine and get lost.

Highly recommended to any book lover. ( )
  marielamba | Mar 18, 2012 |
I didnt really like this book very much. I made myself read it because I wanted to get to the ghost part but it never came. ( )
  BrEr0309 | Feb 2, 2011 |
There aren’t words that can properly express how wonderfully poetic this book was. Anyone who knows me, or reads my reviews, knows that I take the father daughter relationship portrayed in books *very* seriously. It is important to me to see it handled with dignity and understanding and compassion — this doesn’t mean, though, that it can’t be real and that the relationship always has to be one of positivity — so the fact that Kephart has written Katie and her father in the way she has made this a must read book in my eyes right out of the gate.

Add to the above the fact that the story is beautifully written and I’ll say outright that a reader simply can’t go wrong. From the moment we meet Katie we feel her emotions; she longs for her mother, loves her father, and wants desperately to find that equilibrium she once had before everything changed. What’s great about the story is that we see her slowly even out. She’s shaky at first but then inches her way to a place of solid footing. This is all due to Kephart’s expertly written prose — not too flowery but just flourished enough that the reader navigates through the nuances to feel the stability in Katie’s life increase.

Further, the mystery that she and her friends work through ain’t half bad either! It’s filled with history and hidden clues and just the right amount of information to keep the reader guessing without giving everything away until just the right moment. Working the angles with Katie is a wonderfully eclectic group of friends, each of them different and compelling in their own right. An excellent mix of people who we learn just enough about to want more but not too much to overwhelm the story.

If you’ve not read a Kephart book (and this was my first folks) I strongly encourage you to start here, it is certainly worthy of your time and attention. I know I’ll be picking up the copy of House of Dance that I have on my shelves sooner rather than later. ( )
  galleysmith | Sep 4, 2010 |
I have read several of Kephart's non-fiction offerings lately but I had never read one of her YA books until I picked this one up. It was getting a lot of pre-publication buzz in the blogging world and I didn't want to miss the boat, nevermind that YA is not my usual bailiwick.

Katie's mother recently died of cancer, leaving her alone to grieve with her father, an art restorer. His method of grieving includes locking himself away with the latest painting he has to work on, leaving his daughter adrift and mourning by herself. Not wanting to be surrounded by people either, Katie has taken a summer job working on the gardening crew of a local estate, the owner of which is an elderly woman who has locked herself away from the world for years. As Katie tries to come to terms with the new normal of life without her mother, she works to uncover the mystery of why Miss Martine, who was once a debutante, has voluntarily locked herself away from the world for so many years. Her father's latest restoration project, two brothers on the gardening crew, and a glamourous librarian all help Katie in her quest for answers and also in healing her heart a little.

The writing here is quite lyrical, making obvious the fact that Kephart is first and foremost a poet. Her descriptors and phrasing are not of the common sort and she definitely draws pictures in the readers' minds. The characters are believable and sympathetic. Katie is always age appropriate and her reaction to the continued loss of her mother will tug at your heartstrings. Ultimately though, there's very little that occurs in this novel and I had to skim back through it in order to write this review. Some of this is because I read it so long ago and didn't write a review immediately but some of it is because the story just didn't stay with me, offering me no little moments that punched their way into the permanence of my brain. That's not to say this isn't a good book because it is and I think that YA readers, both young and old, will appreciate it. It's just that it lacked that little something more for me. Maybe one of you will find it in there instead though. ( )
  whitreidtan | Jun 30, 2010 |
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After her mother's death, sixteen-year-old Katie copes with her grief by working in the garden of an old estate, where she becomes intrigued by the story of a reclusive millionaire, while her father, an art restorer, manages in his own way to come to terms with the death of his wife.

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