The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

The Year of Shadows is the story of Olivia and her father, the maestro of a failing orchestra and the year after her mother leaves the family. Oh–and the ghosts! When The Maestro sells the family home and moves his elderly mother and Olivia into the backstage area of the music hall it turns out the place is haunted by ghosts. They’re tied to the old crumbling hall, unable to move to the afterlife. The only other person able to see the ghosts is the usher Henry-who goes to school with Olivia. Henry is everything Olivia is not-good at sports, smart and popular at school and Olivia resents him.

“Don’t you have a raincoat” Henry asked, after a minute.
“No,” I snapped. “Too poor for a raincoat.”
“Do you want my raincoat?”
“No way.”
“Well, what about that charity store on Clark Street? You maybe could get one there.”
“How about you go to the charity store & see how you like it? Then we’ll talk”
“I do sometimes,” Henry said quietly.

But then this and my heart melted and I wanted to reach out and hug them both. Olivia goes though some very heart breaking events in the course of this book and sadly her father is too wrapped up in his own depression to be a proper parent. Lucky for Olivia that Henry turns out to be a stalwart friend.

I know I’m not doing this book the justice it deserves. It was about change and sadness and anger and friendship-between people and ghosts. Sadness and anger but for the right reasons because there are times life just makes you feel that way and there is nothing you can do but get through to the other side.

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