The night the barrier between the dead and the living is as thin as muslin. Fourteen-year old Josie, haunted by the death of her mother, leads her best friends to an ancient cemetery to rub graves.
Convinced she will come away with proof of her mother’s spirit at last, the evening takes an unexpected turn as the teens gravitate four ways into the haunted grounds.
Set against the backdrop of the rainy Pacific Northwest, four graves will be rubbed, touching off a series of events that will rattle their once mundane lives. From the lonely World War II hero to an accused witch, the people buried beneath the stones have stories that need an ending.
The journey to unravel the mysteries leaves the friends wondering if the graves would’ve been better off left alone.
If you’re looking for a book to purchase for your child or as a gift, this is a great young adult read. While the main plot centers around Josie’s conflicting emotions over her mother’s death years ago, it also tells the complex stories of all of the “baby group,” a group of teens who’ve literally been together their entire lives. Each of these kids has a different issue in his or her life, and the issues are real-life problems facing many kids today. With multiple points of view, the novel delves into their lives and emotional conflicts with ease and offers chapter headings to help kids navigate the changes. In fact, since so much of the story is split between the kids, the title is a bit of a misnomer. It’s really not JUST Josie’s story. The seamless transitions blend well and make the entire group’s experience.
The novel had moments that had me on the edge of my seat and honest emotions that touch my heart. There is frank discussion of religion which I found refreshing and a cliffhanger that will leave you wanting more. My only caveat is the length. At three hundred plus pages, it may prove daunting to some young readers.