Release Date: June 6, 2017
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: 4 bookmarks
Synopsis: After his mother's death, eleven-year-old Marcus is sent to live on a small South Carolina island with his great aunt, a reclusive painter with a haunted past. Aunt Charlotte, otherwise a woman of few words, points out a ruined cottage, telling Marcus she had visited it regularly after she'd moved there thirty years ago because it matched the ruin of her own life. Eventually she was inspired to take up painting so she could capture its utter desolation.
The islanders call it -Grief Cottage, - because a boy and his parents disappeared from it during a hurricane fifty years before. Their bodies were never found and the cottage has stood empty ever since. During his lonely hours while Aunt Charlotte is in her studio painting and keeping her demons at bay, Marcus visits the cottage daily, building up his courage by coming ever closer, even after the ghost of the boy who died seems to reveal himself. Full of curiosity and open to the unfamiliar and uncanny given the recent upending of his life, he courts the ghost boy, never certain whether the ghost is friendly or follows some sinister agenda.
*This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
Marcus Harshaw, the eleven year old protagonist, loses his mother in a tragic car accident and must travel to live with his only known relative, Aunt Charlotte. Charlotte, an edgy alcoholic artist who seems to disdain too much contact or unnecessary talk, quickly establishes a summer routine for Marcus that sets him free to explore his new small South Carolina island home. While Marcus is discovering and making contact with the ghost of a boy lost in a hurricane decades ago, Charlotte is working through her own crisis brought on by injuries from a drunken fall making her normal painting impossible. Charlotte and Marcus must each confront their own personal ghosts and secrets to find their way forward into optimistic new futures.