Title: The Girl Who Would Speak For the Dead
Author: Paul Elwork
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Publication Date: March 31, 2011
Hardcover: 320 pages
From the Publisher:
The innocence of childhood,
the unknown of adulthood,
and the search for forgiveness . . .
Emily Stewart is the girl who claims to stand between the living and the dead. During the quiet summer of 1925, she and her brother, Michael, are thirteen-year-old twins-privileged, precocious, wandering aimlessly around their family’s estate. One day, Emily discovers that she can secretly crack her ankle in such a way that a sound appears to burst through the stillness of midair. Emily and Michael gather the neighborhood children to fool them with these “spirit knockings.”
Soon, however, this game of contacting the dead creeps into a world of adults still reeling from World War I. When the twins find themselves dabbling in the uncertain territory of human grief and family secrets- knock, knock-everything spins wildly out of control.
I truly wanted to be enthralled with The Girl Who Could Speak For the Dead by Paul Elwork, but sadly I was not after I waited in eager anticipation to read his book about 13-year-old twins, Emily and Michael Stewart, who live with their widowed mother, are very well off, and bored. Emily learns she can make a knocking noise with her ankle and soon the brother and sister duo are conning their friends with their ability to conjure messages from the dead. Eventually adults, still trying to recover from their grief of losing loved ones in the Great War, are drawn into believing in their parlour games. I do not typically compare books, yet while I read this particular book, I could not help thinking of another book I read last year about the Fox sisters in Deborah Noyes’s novel, Captivity, which was brilliant. The Girl Who Could Speak For the Dead is a coming of age book and due to the ages of the twins, it reads as a book geared for a younger audience. However, Elwork eloquently writes about multigenerational issues with a prevailing theme of loss as the book occurs between the two World Wars. While I liked The Girl Who Would Speak For the Dead, I did not truly enjoy the book. Would I recommend the book to other readers? Certainly, especially those who enjoy coming of age books.
To learn more about Paul Elwork please visit his website.
I received a complimentary of The Girl Who Would Speak For the Dead by Paul Elwork from Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.