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Sparrow Hill Road

(Ghost Roads #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  5,602 ratings  ·  897 reviews
Now in a new redesigned edition, featuring an updated introduction from the author and songs!

Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross--a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn't ask Rose what she thought of the idea.

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Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Daw Books (first published May 6th 2014)
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Elyse The Girl in the Green Silk Gown comes out in July!
drnuncheon A sequel, "The Girl in the Green Silk Gown" was just announced for July 2018.

(Warning: linked article contains spoilers)…more
A sequel, "The Girl in the Green Silk Gown" was just announced for July 2018.

(Warning: linked article contains spoilers)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Start your review of Sparrow Hill Road (Ghost Roads, #1)
Jan 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
*** 3.33 ***

A buddy read with my friends at BB&B's UF Wednesday group!

I love the way Seanan McGuire can weave a tale seemingly out of thin air! In this case, she did - this is a new series about Ghosts! I have to make a confession - out of all UF creations, Zombies and Ghosts are my least favorite. This might have affected the level of enjoyment I received from this book, and in this case the rating is all on me.

We spend some very non-linear time with the legendary prom-night dead girl's ghost
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
#1 Sparrow Hill Road ★★★★★
#2 The Girl in the Green Silk Gown ???

I’ve yet to meet a Seanan McGuire story that I don’t like, and Sparrow Hill Road sure isn’t going to be the first. The recipe for this story includes a tablespoon of creep factor, a pinch of humor, a healthy dose of sadness, and a heaping cup of absolute lovability.

One in three hitchhikers on the North American road died long before anyone offered them a ride, and for the most part, we’re pretty friendly.

First of all, let’s tal
I need to be very clear about this: I read it mainly because it is written by Seanan McGuire, not because I was particularly enthralled by the subject matter. I prepared myself for merely *liking* the book, not loving it.

At first, it just appeared to be a rather good character study of an already dead girl, dead back in '53, as she jaunted from time to time because that's what the dead does -- getting filled in on her after-death and the status of her urban legend ghosthood.

And then something ha
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire is the first book of the paranormal fantasy Ghost Roads series. This series was originally released back in May of 2014 but is now being re-published. It centers around the stories of a ghost of a sixteen year old girl who many have claimed to have contact with over the years.

Rose Marshall was a typical sixteen year old back in 1952 and only wanted to head to her prom the night that she died in Buckley Township, Michigan. Rose had been run off the road causing
Tamora Pierce
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, fantasy
Most people grew up with stories of the girl on the side of the road, the girl who was killed on prom night, the girl in the diner, the girl who wants to get home. Seanan McGuire, aka Mira Grant, who's also what's called a filksinger on the science fiction/fantasy convention circuit, has strung together a number of short stories about Rose, a ghost of the road who goes where she's called to help those who need her very special set of skills.

She lives in a world populated by rulers of the crossro
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m the phantom prom date, the woman at the diner, the girl in the green silk gown, and the walking girl of Route 42. But most of all, I’m the ghost of Sparrow Hill Road. Rosie Marshall. Just one more girl who raced and lost in the hand of the forest, the shade of the hill, on the hairpin curves of that damned deadly hill.
People call me a lot of things these days. You can call me Rose.
Now come with me.

Rose Marshall grew up in Buckley Township, Michigan, just after the depression. Sc

☆★Tinja★✮ A Court of Pizza and Laziness
I'm going to re-listen the Incryptid series soonish and realized I haven't read this one yet and bought the Audio, which is pretty darn good btw. This book is actually set in the Incryptid Universe, and like all things Incryptid, I ended up loving this one as well ❤❤ This book is just so unique and weird and awesome :D This author, she writes beeeaaautifully:)) ❤

I had one major issue with that ending though

don't read this if you are maybe going to read this book xD (view spoiler)
Robin (Bridge Four)
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Sparrow Hill Road is a bit disjointed.  Now I’m not sure if that is literary genius because the main character is a ghost and so her life/afterlife IS a little disjointed time-wise or because that is just the nature of this collection of stories.

Rose is dead and she has been for about sixty years now but that doesn’t stop her from hitching a ride now and again and dropping into the living world to have a little bit of a good time or help
3-1/2 stars, rounded down

Rose Marshall is a "hitcher": a ghost who died in a car accident in 1956 and is forever tied to riding the roads of North America. Legends about "the phantom prom date" in a green dress abound. But Rose doesn't really care about that. She keeps herself busy trying to save drivers destined for accidents, guiding those who can't be saved, keeping clear of the man whose deal with darkness cost Rose her life but made his everlasting, and remembering the boy she loved, the
Maria Dimitrova
Sparrow Hill Road is set in the same universe as the InCryptid series. And yet it's a very different book. In this novel we take a look at the afterlife. Or rather the afterlife of those who do not move on when they die. Apparently there are a lot of different kinds of ghosts inhabiting the different levels of Earth but here we mostly meet with all the different types of road ghosts - the ghosts of people who died on the road. As you can guess the main character is one such road ghost. More spec ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, paranormal
Full review now posted!

What a fun little journey of a book!

I found Seanan McGuire only recently, through her Wayward Children novellas. Those are beautiful and deep and weird and sad, and they moved me. This little book, a hybrid of a short novel and a short story collection, was a radically different animal. McGuire’s writing was worlds different from what I first experienced in Every Heart a Doorway, so much so that I honestly would’ve never guessed that they were written by the same author i
Mike (the Paladin)
Let me open this by saying that I've read a few books by Seanan McGuire. One I gave a 4 as I recall the others I gave 3 stars. They were pretty good to okay. I didn't rush to read others or follow up the series I started but thought I might pick up another some time. This book isn't one that's typical of books I generally pick up. I read the synopsis however and the story based on the ghostly prom date seemed a good idea. I think the first time I heard of the legend was from a story i read in a ...more
It pains me to give a book by Seanan McGuire less than 4 stars. Truthfully, I would give it 3.5 stars if I had the option. In this case, it is truly not the book, it is me. I’m just not that into ghost stories, although I liked this one as much as I am capable of enjoying a ghost story.

Those of you who have been reading my reviews for a while will know that supernatural aspects to books send me to bed with the covers over my head more often than not. Both The Shining and The Haunting of Hill Hou
This was not what I expected after reading the books sysnopsis. I thought it was going to be a single story telling when in reality it was a collaboration of short stories and novella length stories all focusing on the legends surrounding Rose Marshall, a ghost, and her battle against the man, now ghost, Bobby Cross that killed her and set the path for her ride the ghost roads for eternity.

That being said, Seanan McGuire pens magical tales that catapults the reader into a world of myths and leg
Liz Townsend
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in it's serialized version online and was blown away. I love love love the idea of taking a well-known ghost story and viewing it from the POV of the ghost. I understand there has been some editing done for this printing, I'm looking forward to re-reading a final novelized version of the tale - I really hope there have also been additions to Rose's story, I was sad to see it end the first time. I'm optimistic that, since this is listed as book one in the "Ghost Stories" series, there ...more
Alice Liu
I had a hard time getting through this book because it was so repetitive. There is a languid feel to the storytelling, which is fine, except that it never really changes pace. What began as a slow, detailed introduction to the Ghost Road was repeated many times within the same chapter. Seanan McGuire writes beautifully in her descriptions, but rather than saying something new, it seemed like she was finding different ways to say the same thing. I felt like each small section had been written ind ...more
lucky little cat
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to lucky little cat by:
NPR Book Concierge which is letting me down a bit lately
Seanan McGuire fans and adorers of urban legends (especially tame, car-culture-heavy ones) take note.

This tale of a do-gooder/ vigilante dead hitchhiking prom queen might just be your cuppa. Think 1950s-era Buffy without the entourage.

The characters are likable, and the episode where our phantom prom date educates a bunch of paranormal investigators is a hoot. The action unspools as a series of interrelated short stories which betray their pulp-magazine origin with fast-moving plots and
More like 2 1/2 stars. It was really well written. The descriptions of the world were enjoyable at first until they became incredibly repetitive. The reason for that is because this novel is essentially a collection of stories that are loosely connected. There is an overarching storyline amongst the stories, but it doesn't move the plot forward. Once one story was finished, the urge to keep reading and find out what happens next wasn't there.

There were considerable descriptions of the world and
Jody McGrath
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting story about the urban legend ghost Rose Marshall, the Prom Date Ghost or The Ghost at the Diner. She ha other monikers also. It told her story in mostly the present, skipping back to the past to fill in holes now and then.

The annoying parts were these out of story info dumps about world building that didn't pertain to the story. The seemed to lead each chapter. It took me out of the story and had me setting the book down a lot more than I normally would.

Well, I am somewhat disappointed with this story, due to it's promising premise!

I loved how in the short "Ghosts of Bourbon Street", this ghost world, and its characters were presented to us readers; but I'm afraid that as a full length book, this became quite repetitive.

Apparently this was written in a serialised format, and reading it, that becomes painfully obvious so.

As usual with everything everything written by this author, the world building is described perfectly, and the rules of
Jul 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This is a book that could be very puzzling unless you simply ask no questions of it, sit back, and let the excellent writing flow in whatever direction the author chooses. I did that and quite enjoyed the ride, so a very solid three stars from me.

Part of the potential puzzlement to inquiring readers may be due to the origin of this work (and my thanks to Melindeeloo for the lead) as a collection of short stories by Seanan McGuire that appeared in a semiprozine (online only?) called Edge of Propi
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The stories contained within this book all focus on Rose Marshall who died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan. It was her prom night. A dance she never attended because a man named Bobby Cross who sold his soul to ride the highways forever ran her off the road.

Originally published in serial form, the book follows Rose in a non-linear timeline from her death in 1952 to present day. McGuire shares stories about this ghost who is known by many names; the phantom prom date, the woman at the diner
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slowly getting my reading groove back.
Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.

It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.

They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown.
andrea caro
I don’t even know what to say. One of the best books I’ve ever read. RTC.
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)

Rose Marshall died in 1952 at the tender age of 16, and she’s been haunting the highways and byways of America ever since, helping the new dead get where they need to go. It’s not a terrible afterlife…after all, when someone gives her a warm coat and a cup of coffee, she becomes flesh and blood, at least for a short time, and she can enjoy being among the living again. It may not be much, but she definitely doesn’t take a hot cheeseburger and crispy French
I love it when I find a story that is different and non-typical. I really enjoyed this one. It didn't blow me away, it grew on me as I listened to more of Rose's story.

Rose tells of her after-death experiences in a serial type format which I enjoyed very much. She is likable, quirky, funny and strong when it counts.

The writing in places is nearly poetic. Beautiful use of imaginative metaphors.

We learn about the love Rose had for her boyfriend on that ill-fated night of the prom when she lost her
Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for providing me with a review copy, only asking for an honest review in exchange!

Seanan sure knows how to pack a punch. Many of these short stories leave you feeling sad for Rose Marshall, hitchhiking ghost. Many of them leave you hoping that if these ghost roads are real, that Rose Marshall is real too and out there helping ghosts move on and getting rid of old haunted roads.

But mostly, they leave you wishing Seanan would continue the story. :) Luckily for us, s
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basiclly a bunch is short ghost stories. Blah!
Holly (The GrimDragon)
“EVERYONE IS BORN BASICALLY THE SAME WAY: bloody and screaming. We come out of our mothers, shriek with our first breath, and find ourselves lost in a world that we don’t understand. But we’re hungry for understanding, hungry for life, and so we learn. We grow. We wrap the world around our shoulders like a blanket or a coat, and we wear it proudly every day of our lives, for however long those lives may last. We are temporary creatures, and we know it—that’s why we fear the dark, after all, that ...more
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Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (, author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and

Other books in the series

Ghost Roads (3 books)
  • The Girl in the Green Silk Gown (Ghost Roads #2)
  • Angel of the Overpass (Ghost Roads, #3)

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