Pram Bellamy is special—she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.
Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.
Lauren DeStefano is beloved by critics and readers alike, and her middle grade debut is lyrical, evocative and not to be missed.
Although I have never read a book by DeStefano I really wanted to read this dark looking middle grade story because it sounded perfect.
The story starts out sweet enough with a young girl Pram who was born on a day her mother killed herself by hanging herself from a tree. Pram of course survives this act and can see the dead because of it. I really liked her character because she was a cute innocent child who loved freely and believed fully in these ghosts around her, so much so that her best friend is a ghost.
I do admit that the beginning of the story is a little slow and after about 80 pages I was beginning to wonder if anything would happen but just as I was about to put it aside the story started to get really interesting. All of a sudden Pram found herself in a boat load of trouble when a woman decides that her talent for seeing the dead and connecting with the spirit world is more valuable than Pram’s normal life with her Aunts. I really liked the creepy twist to the story because this woman was willing to go so far as to kill children and take away souls of those who had this special talent. I really don’t want to say too much about the story but all of the elements in the second half of the book were the perfect blend between creepy, thrilling, and full of challenges with spirits and the fight of the living. I really loved the book once it started to get going.
Overall, I really don’t want to ruin the storyline in this one but I have to say I was highly impressed with this middle grade book. It took a dark concept and made it come to life in such a way that you can’t help but flip those pages as fast as you can to see what will happen next. Pram was certainly a great character who learned a lot in one small book and I wish that the reader will get to spend more time with her in the future.