Nora W's Reviews > The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead

The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead by Paul Elwork
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Jan 08, 12

bookshelves: mp2
Read in January, 2012

"The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead" by Paul Elwork was a very interesting historical fiction novel. This story takes place post World War I and ends in the beginning of World War II. The main character, Emily, whose father father was killed in World War I, discoveres a hidden talent, she can secretly crack her ankle so that it sounds like it is coming from another part of the room. Her twin brother, Michael, wants to use this talent to convince the neiborhood kids that they can communicate with ghosts. Emily wants the ghost to be their great-aunt Regina who died at 16 by falling into the river. Once they start the kids believe them and some even tell their parents. When the parents hear they want to see for themselves. One group of old women completely believe them and ask them to communicate with a deceased loved one. The twins do and they give the old women all the answers they want to hear. Emily also goes to her brother's friend, Albert's, house. Albert's father wants her to contact Albert's brother who died in the war. While she is there she learns the real reason the brother left for war. The father's attention to his deceased son leaves Albert feeling unloved and drives him to a breaking point.

The story also jumps to the time when Regina was a child and gives more insight on her and her family. Her father was always depressed and that her brother was always drunk. No one knows if her death was suicide or accidental.

There is also a weird relationship between Emily's mother and her father's best friend who has more than friendly intentions. As Emily explores the house she learns more about her family's past; she has more than just an employee relationship with their maid, Mary. Emily also finds a scrapbook that her mother made that has pictures and describes her family's history in great detail.

Overrall this book has many interesting twists in it which grab your attention. However, the author does not always keep your attention because he goes on to describe something different and loses your focus. Other historical fiction novels were more interesting to me because they involve the characters in the actual historical events. This book has less historical content than I would have liked.
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