Miss Kitty's Reviews > The Ghost's Child

The Ghost's Child by Sonya Hartnett
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Oct 04, 08

bookshelves: alaannual2008freeschwag, fluffygirlstuff, oldladybooks
Recommended to Miss Kitty by: ALA publisher
Recommended for: people who think deep thoughts and like short novels
Read in September, 2008

Matilda comes home from walking her dog one chilly afternoon and finds an odd boy, gray-eyed boy waiting for her. Her visit with him triggers powerful memories told in a parable-esque story about her lonely childhood with a cold, snobby mother, and distant, workaholic father. She also recalls finding and losing her one true love, a blissfully wild man she calls, I kid you not, Feather. Feather squelched his wanderlust and yen for talking to seagulls and agreed to live in a tranquil cottage in the forest with Matty. They were together for just over a year when Feather disappeared to chase the horizon ie. be himself. Matty then ventured forth on a quest in pursuit of both Feather and an answer to a question he left in his absence.

This novel can best be described as sweet. The heroine is sweet. The plot is sweet. The ending is very sweet. It may sound like I’m saying “sweet” like it’s Hallmark sweet; this is SO not the case. Harnett successfully spins a sweet philosophical yarn about love, loss, and remembrance. Its brevity and multi-layered storyline lends itself to repeated readings and book club discussion. However, it’s hard to imagine its target audience (young adults) reaching for this one for reasons other than its short length (190ish pages) without strategic booktalking. Aside from a sea monster battle between a kraken and a leviathan, the novel creaks along slowly and lacks action. Maybe that’s how parables are supposed to be? I’m trying to remember The Prodigal Son but I read that a long time ago. Matty is in love with flaky, flighty Feather but he has no job, no wardrobe aside from a pair of shorts, and seems to speak in only cryptic phrases. Whuh? Why? Feather is lame-o, y’all! But hey, it IS short and sweet. I wouldn’t complain if I had to read this for school.
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