Nothing but Ghosts by Beth Kephart

nothing but ghostsNothing but Ghosts by Beth Kephart (HarperTeen, June 23, 2009), 288 pages

Katie is trying to come to grips with her mother’s death, which left her and her father alone in a too-big house. In this summer before Katie’s senior year in high school, Katie struggles to understand how a woman so alive as her mother was can just disappear. Her summer job is as a gardener at a big estate down the road. The estate’s high society owner hasn’t been seen for decades, closeting herself away in the huge house when she was a teen herself. She looks for clues in the dirt, and in the library.

The writing is beautifully lyrical — transcendently so. Simple, smart, quiet, but deep. The story feels so real, so down-to-earth. A quick read, but one I wanted to take my time with, to savor it.

I have no complaints about this book, no quibbles. I want to read all of Kephart’s fiction.

The book’s trailer:

There’s still time for you to win a prize simply for buying this book! Head over to My Friend Amy’s blog, click her link (or send her a copy of your receipt) by July 24, 2009, to be a part of this book drive.

After I read this book, while it was sitting around waiting for me to write my review, my parents visited, and my dad picked it up and started reading it, getting at least 60 pages into it in the short time before we headed out. He was really enjoying it. Hopefully I’ll get my book back soon.

This is an excellent book. Haunting in the way it stays with you. One of my favorites of the year, certainly.

Kephart is the author of 10 books, including a National Book Award Finalist. This is her third young adult novel.

Other reviews:
Things Mean a Lot
Care’s Online Book Club
My Friend Amy
Becca’s Byline
Presenting Lenore posted her review and an interview with Kephart
Em’s Bookshelf
Charlotte’s Library
ReadingJunky’s Reading Roost

Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

17 responses to “Nothing but Ghosts by Beth Kephart

  1. Yes – simple and quiet, but so beautiful and meaningful. I definitely want to read more of her work as well.

  2. Great review. A wonderful book.

  3. I bought this for My Friend Amy’s book drive and hope to read it soon. I love that your dad’s reading it too!

  4. I never hear anything but wonderful remarks on this book! I definitely need to pick it up soon. Great review!

  5. This sounds like something I’d enjoy. It’s hard to find books that you can’t say a single bad thing about. I’ll have to keep this one in mind.


  6. looking forward to reading this one. thanks for a great review!

  7. I”m so glad you liked it. I loved Undercover as well, and hope to read House of Dance soon. She’s working on an adult book now. 😉

  8. Dear Word Lily,

    Why does it take me so long to discover some of the kindnesses in this world?

    I just now, just this moment, found this.

    I thank you.


    • elizabethmosier

      I agree with everyone here. “Smart, quiet but deep” — that’s Beth Kephart as I know her on the page and in person. And don’t you love a heroine who solves a mystery by starting at the library?

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  10. Thanks for linking to my review. I enjoyed reading yours. Isn’t Beth just a fabulous writer?! 🙂

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