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One-Shot: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Whether or not they contain ghosts, many books have been described as haunting. With its lyrical writing, exceptional characters, and imaginative (as opposed to wholly traditional or predictable) take on ghosts, A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb is honestly worthy of the "haunting" descriptor and the shivery response it elicits.

Light reveals shades of darkness and traces of hope as the main character struggles to recall her life. I'm always cautious of giving away too much of a good book or a good film, especially one that I so thoroughly enjoy and want others to discover for themselves. Here's how I summarized the plot for a SparkNotes Literature feature:

For more than a hundred years, Helen has been a ghost with no way to communicate with the living. She can see people, but they can't see her -- until one day when someone looks right at her. James is a teenager, alive and well, and he wants to get to know her. The more they talk, the more is revealed about Helen's past, as she struggles to remember her life. How did she die? Why can James see her?

As The Girl from The Seven-Year Itch would say, "It shakes me, it quakes me. It makes me feel goose-pimply all over."

A Certain Slant of Light is an amazing story, one I can't recommend highly enough or often enough.

The title of the novel comes from an Emily Dickinson poem that begins:

There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.


Beautifully heavy, isn't it? Read the poem in its entirety.

Favorite Passage
"Just walk up to your h&!! and give it a push. Run through it, and I'll be waiting on the other side." - Page 210

The story continues in Under the Light, which is just as lovely and also gets my recommendation.

If You Liked This, Then You'll Like That
Under the Light by Laura Whitcomb, the sequel to A Certain Slant of Light
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick (the book and the film)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Dead on Town Line by Leslie Connor
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Discover additional similar titles on my booklists:
Mind Readers and Ghostly Visitors
If Then for Teens

Related Posts
Ghosts, Shapeshifters, and Vampires, Oh My!
Best Books Read in 2006
Stephenie Meyer Fans React to Breaking Dawn and Midnight Sun

What's OSWT?
The One-Shot World Tour (OSWT) was created by Colleen of Chasing Ray as a way for bloggers to come together occasionally and review books with similar themes and settings, or to simply recommend something outstanding which others may have overlooked. Today's event, entitled One-Shot: Over the Fence Great Book Recommendation, falls into the latter category.
Learn more about the OSWT at Chasing Ray.
See previous OSWT posts at Bildungsroman.
Tags: books, emily dickinson, oswt, reviews
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