Sunday, December 21, 2008
A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
Someone was looking at me, a disturbing sensation if you’re dead. In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: For the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen—terrified but intrigued—is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.
Once again, an encore reading of one of my favorite books in the world. This book should get an award for best first sentence of a novel. The moment I read it, I was hooked. Laura Whitcomb’s tale of ghosts is unlike any I’ve ever read-and is by far the best. Richie Partington stated it perfectly when he said, “Alternating between sensual, gritty, dark, delightful, and frightening; between atmospheric fantasy and down-and dirty contemporary YA realism, A Certain Slant of Light is absolutely awash in literary quality and an award winner waiting to happen.” The characters of the ghosts James and Helen, and the teenagers they possess, Billy and Jenny, are ripe and overflowing with merit. I cannot wait for Whitcomb’s next novel, The Fetch, arriving February 2nd 2009. I am certain it will be just as amazing as her debut, A Certain Slant of Light.