Judith's Reviews > The Ghost's Child

The Ghost's Child by Sonya Hartnett
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's review
Apr 22, 08

really liked it
Read in April, 2008

I am not generally a big fan of Sonya Hartnett. It's not that I don't appreciate the skill of her writing, I just never feel emotionally connected to her books. (Apart from "Forest", which was about cats, not people. I think I have a problem with her oft-times misanthropic take on humanity.)

Anyway, I didn't expect to care for "The Ghost's Child" any better than I had (most of) her other novels, and it's true that when I started the book, I felt quite disconnected, as much as I—yes—admired the writing.

But then it began to get under my skin and into my heart. I really began to care about the old woman's story, to feel involved, and by the end of it I was totally won over.

My main quibble? Audience. It has, predictably, been shortlisted for the older readers category of the Children's Book Council of Australia awards, but I am not sure how YA readers would really respond to it. It seems to me to be concerned with very mature, adult, retrospective considerations of life and love.

But I'm glad Hartnett has broken her run with me. I was beginning to feel like the sulky girl in the corner at the party.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Cardpuppet (new)

Cardpuppet I haven't read many of Hartnett's other books, so I don't know what audience her work is usually aimed at, but I don't agree with your comment that this shouldn't be aimed at young adults. I was a young adult when I read this book, probably around fifteen or sixteen, and no part of it was lost on me. I found it a thoroughly heartfelt, engaging and resonating piece, and I think it is foolish to think that a young adult is not mature enough to understand and appreciate those "adult" themes. I understood them as a teen, and I wouldn't consider myself of a higher intelligence or general understanding than my peers. There is little in this world an open-minded teen could not understand, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a teen who hasn't the imagination and empathy to be able to imagine something they may not necessarily have experienced themselves. That's just part of the human brain. Just because the book is not about fickle romance does not mean a young adult reader will not enjoy it and take a piece of it into their hearts forever, as I did. It's still one of my favourite books now, as a just-turned adult.

Immie I am in complete agreement with the comment above I read the book when I was about 12 and fell deeply in love with the plot and characters. I am now 15 and I really would love to read the book again, maybe I am just old in my style of reading but I really loved this book it is one of my very favourites

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