No one expects the Spanish Influenza, and the residents of 1918 San Diego are paralyzed by their fear of contracting the disease. Among them is 16 year old Mary, mourning the sweetheart that she's just lost in the war and grappling with her recently-discovered ability to communicate with the dead, a power that emerged in perfect synchronicity with the early days of American Spiritualism, which has got to be confusing for a wee teenager. The book is incredibly atmospheric and bananas creepy. Come for the spooky descriptions of coffin-lined streets and disease-ridden sick wards and stay for the remarkable writing.
In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. At her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?Featuring haunting archival early-20th-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.
About the Author
Cat Winters is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novels Odd & True, The Steep and Thorny Way, The Cure for Dreaming, and In the Shadow of Blackbirds, which collected three starred reviews and was a finalist for the William C. Morris Award for debut YA fiction. She lives in Portland, Oregon.