Synopses & Reviews
Ever since her mother passed away, Katie's been alone in her too-big house with her genius dad, who restores old paintings for a living. Katie takes a summer job at a garden estate, where, with the help of two brothers and a glamorous librarian, she soon becomes embroiled in decoding a mystery. There are secrets and shadows at the heart of Nothing but Ghosts
: symbols hidden in a time-darkened painting, and surprises behind a locked bedroom door. But most of all, this is a love story—the story of a girl who learns about love while also learning to live with her own ghosts.
This is a heartfelt, lyrical tale from the National Book Award-nominated author of Undercover and House of Dance.
"Coping with loss and uncovering secrets are staples of YA fiction, but Kephart (House of Dance) skillfully uses nuanced characters and resonant imagery to make the familiar feel new and magical. Sixteen-year-old Katie D'Amore and her father live in an old 'heirloom' house, one that's far too large following the recent death of Katie's mother. Her father restores paintings bringing torn, stained and begrimed canvases back to life and Katie has taken a summer job as a gardener for the town recluse, Miss Martine, which offers another kind of resurrection. But neither can leave grief behind. Orders to excavate an unlikely spot for a new gazebo lead Katie to investigate the mystery behind Miss Martine's sudden withdrawal from the world. Her search parallels her father's current restoration project, which also gives tantalizing glimpses into an old tragedy and the still-open wounds it left behind. Kephart's evocative writing and gentle resolution offer healing and hope as her characters come to terms with their losses. As Katie says, 'Things disappear and vanish... and after that all you can do is keep the idea of them bright inside yourself.' Ages 12 up. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Beth Kephart was nominated for a National Book Award for her memoir A Slant of Sun. Her first novel for teens, Undercover, received four starred reviews and was named a Best Book by Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and Amazon.com. In 2005 Beth was awarded the Speakeasy Poetry Prize. She has also written Into the Tangle of Friendship: A Memoir of the Things That Matter; Still Love in Strange Places: A Memoir; Ghosts in the Garden: Reflections on Endings, Beginnings, and the Unearthing of Self; Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River; Zenobia: The Curious Book of Business; and House of Dance. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family.