Olivia wants a new life—and it might take ghosts to get it. A heartfelt, gently Gothic novel from Claire Legrand.
Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.
Her mother’s left, her neglectful father—the maestro of a failing orchestra—has moved her and her grandmother into the city’s dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.
Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets four ghosts who haunt the hall. They need Olivia’s help—if the hall is torn down, they’ll be stuck as ghosts forever, never able to move on.
Olivia has to do the impossible for her shadowy new friends: Save the concert hall. But helping the dead has powerful consequences for the living…and soon it’s not just the concert hall that needs saving.
" The too-serene-to-be-true town of Belleville harbors some creepy secrets in Legrand's debut, a sinister and occasionally playful tale of suspense. Legrand gives Victoria's mission a prickly energy, and her descriptions of the sighing, heaving home—a character in itself—are the stuff of bad dreams. Watts's b&w illustrations of spindly characters, cryptic shadows, and cramped corridors amplify the unsettling ambiance, and her roach motif may have readers checking their arms."
"A heartwarming friendship tale—played out amid carpets of chittering insects, torture both corporal and psychological, the odd bit of cannibalism and like ghoulish delights. A thoroughgoing ickfest, elevated by vulnerable but resilient young characters and capped by a righteously ominous closing twist."
"A sad, happy, strange book, with some of the most memorable ghosts I've ever read. It's full of shadows, but it's also full of sparks and light and big, glowing scenes, and while it'll break your heart more than once, it somehow manages to glue it all back together by the end. I loved it."
"Claire LeGrand’s fantastically spooky The Year of Shadows will keep you turning its pages well into the night, even though the floorboards are creaking and funny shapes lurk in the corner of your eye. Such is the allure of tempestuous, terrific Olivia, the complex and utterly real heroine who is suffering from one misfortune and indignity too many--and that's before the ghosts arrive. Though we soon see that sometimes ghosts are the least of the things that haunt us, the book assures us that with spirit and hope we can create light in the most shadowy of places. Also, like all the best books, it has a really great cat."
"Insidiously creepy, searingly sinister, and spine-tinglingly fun, this book also presents a powerful message about friendship and the value of individuality."
PRAISE FOR THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is weirdly charming and creepy. I loved the intrepid girl hero Victoria and her determination to save her best friend from the scariest Home ever. An enormously fun--and shivery--read.