Published October 2014
This is the story of a girl who didn’t want to live…
Carrie Anne is desperately unhappy. Tangled in a web of abuse, she seeks solace in the cemetery that backs onto her garden. But something creeps between the gravestones. Carrie Anne is not alone…
…and a boy who cannot die.
The cemetery is home to a boy. He has guarded these forgotten bones since meeting a gruesome end two hundred years ago. Neither dead nor alive, he has been watching for a long time. And now, he finally has the visitor he’s been waiting for…
Thanks to Netgalley and UK Carina for my review copy.
This is a novella by Sebastian Gregory, aimed at young people.
The story starts in the past with a boy. The Boy loses his mother to consumption (tuberculosis) and finds himself at the mercy of his drunken father. He is taken to the cemetery and shows him how to rob from graves. His father dies from an infection leaving him completely alone, in the world. The Boy is turned into one of the undead, after a spooky encounter.
Carrie Ann is a girl living in the present. She is unhappy and this has escalated to self harming. Her father is sexually abusing her. She is all alone. She feels she has very little to live for, in her world of neglect and abuse.
One day, Carrie Ann meets the Boy and a friendship develops.
Atmospheric, sad and creepy at times , the book deals with some very adult raw themes and ideas (hidden abuse in the home, sexual abuse, self harming and bullying). It is all told in such a clever, accessible way. I could very well believe the abuse and neglect both children were going through. The meeting and interaction between Carrie Ann and the Boy was really quite beautiful and moving.
A very impressive read! Dark and rather wonderful.