Author(s): Sonya HartnettDownload
Alternate Cover edition of ISBN 9780670029457Maddy yearns for her life to be mystifying, to be as magical as a fairy story. And then one day, on the beach, she meets the strangest young man she has ever seen.The Ghost’s Child is an enchanting fable about the worth of life, and the power of love.
Some Reviews: 209 in Goodreads.com
I have read this book a couple of times, though not for a few years now. When I first read it, as a 14/15 year old I was absolutely blown away by Hartnett’s incredible writing. I hadn’t before come across a book that was written so well. I was captivated. These days I hardly remember the details of the story (perhaps I should re-read it shortly…), but it will forever stand out in my memory as one of the most beautiful books I have ever read, for it showed me what a book can be.
Maybe it won’t capture you as it did me, but you should at least find it an enjoyable read.
I liked this, but I have a feeling that it’s not going to sell well with my students. The read is much like that of Lark Rise to Candleford, Flora Thompson’s fictionalized account of growing up in turn of the century England: slow, lots of description, not so much with the action. Haruf’s Plainsong is another in this vein.
That’s not to say that students won’t like it, but I think it’s a niche read rather than a widespread seller.
I’d describe this as a fable. It is magical, surreal & philosophical. It is both beautiful & heartbreaking at the same time. An unusual & wonderful read that will probably stay with me for many years.
I remember really enjoying Sonya Hartnett’s Thursday’s Child when I was a teenager and I was delighted to find that this is equally as wonderful. So wonderful, in fact, that I’m not really sure how to start talking about it.
I suppose the first thing to say is that it’s a short book, just over 100 pages, and the premise is a simple one – an old woman, Matilda, recounts the story of her life to an unexpected visitor, a young boy, whose significance isn’t really explained until the very end. Her story is told in a lyrical, fable-like sort of way that I found absolutely enchanting, with touches of the magical that make it feel like a fairy-tale in parts. I related a lot to the description of Matilda as a child, especially the feeling on the outside of things and not being very good at making friends.
It’s also a very poignant and philosophical book, and questions like what it means to be happy, what it is to love and grieve, and be at peace, are at the heart of it. And the ending… I don’t often cry at books but when I finished this I definitely wanted to. A new favourite.
Originally it took me awhile to read (I read this starting at the age of ten, and this book wasn’t the same as books I read at the time). When I began to avidly read this book however, it caught me. When I finally reached the end (in the middle of a elementary school lesson I wasn’t listening to) I stopped and kept saying to myself, “WOW! That was…I did not see that coming! But that’s so sad, but so good..and just…” I could not stop questioning how I felt about this ending because It was so different from the formula ending a child expects from a book. The boy sitting next to me in class, a jock type, was so amazed at my reaction that he actually wanted to try reading it (it is a small book, something like 130 pages at 11 font), so i lent it to him even though I thought he wouldn’t finish and I didn’t trust him with this literary gem, keeping the sleeve so he wouldn’t crush it. I never received this book back and am still to this day regretful that I lent it to him (whenever I enquired on his progress, he would say he, “didn’t get it” and I would note he had only read a page in a couple days). I have forgotten of this book until recently and intend on finding the same copy I had; a beautiful grey-blue hardcover with a simple embossed title on the spine. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a philosophical and light read, it will touch you like no other (but i highly suggest you be the only one to touch it to ensure its protection!).