Ghosts of Harvard

Random. May 2020. 480p. ISBN 9780525510369. $27. F
DEBUT Harvard freshman Cady Archer is on a mission to discover what happened during her brother’s time at Harvard that caused him to take his own life last spring in his junior year. It’s a solo journey portraying freshman loneliness and finding one’s way surrounded by people who have unknown motivations. In addition Cady starts hearing the voices of ghosts of former Harvard students. After veering into the surreal, the story returns to very human, if not always positive, motivations. As false friends reveal themselves, Cady finds her own inner direction and ways to heal and move forward. Finally she learns to differentiate herself from her family while gaining strength from the connection they all share.
VERDICT Those who like novels by Joe Hill and Pat Conroy will also enjoy this his first novel by Lisa Scottoline’s nonfiction coauthor (and daughter). The book begins as thriller and ends as a story of personal growth and redemption. The writing is vivid and engaging, and it works for adults as well as for mature young adult readers. [See Prepub Alert, 11/11/19.]

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