Shady Grove’s daddy could call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle. He died in a car crash four years ago, but when the woods around Shady’s home suddenly fill with the sound of the bluegrass music he used to play, she knows he’s trying to send her a message. Then her brother is accused of murder, and Shady realizes it’s her turn to take up her daddy’s fiddle, call out the ghosts and illuminate the secrets that have been keeping her family prisoner for generations.
Ghost Wood Song, Erica Waters’ debut novel, is a haunting Southern Gothic tale that will delight fans of Jeff Zentner’s The Serpent King and Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures. Readers will lose themselves in Florida’s rural pine woods, among the ghosts that haunt Shady’s family and the bluegrass melodies she plays to summon them.
Waters’ characters are just as vivid, coming into sharp relief against the lush setting as they wrestle with grief, family secrets and high school drama. (Shady and her two best friends, Sarah and Orlando, can’t agree on the set list for their band, and their arguments are complicated by the love triangle between Shady, Sarah and gorgeous cowboy Cedar.) Waters makes it easy to root for Shady as she battles conflicts both mundane and supernatural, working through a wide range of emotions rendered with nuance and authenticity.
Ghost Wood Song is a lyrical, evocative novel that’s part ghost story and part mystery, wrapped around a gorgeous tale of loss, love and family healing.