Avi is a pretty famous author, but another confession as we head into the new year: I think this is the first book of his that I have finished!
This book was terrific. It had to be, because it is nothing like my usual books, it doesn't take place in contemporary times. Indeed, it is set in 1872 in New York City. Horace Carpetine is a young teenager, an apprentice to a less-than-honest photographer, Mr. Middleditch. Middleditch sees an opportunity to exploit the grief of a woman who has lost her daughter, Eleanora, to fever. It turns out that there more to this grieving mother than meets the eye, in fact, she isn't grieving at all. Horace meets Peg, an African American servant to the grieving woman and her husband. Peg confides that there is something mysterious about the death of Eleanora.
As Horace and Middleditch take portraits of the "grieving" mother, they notice a spirit lurking in the background of the photos. And this spirit, Eleanora, herself, ain't too happy. She's back and wanting to exact revenge upon those who wronged her.
It turns out that spirit photography has been around since the time of this book's setting and it is a pretty interesting topic. I hope to look into that more at some point.
Seer is an excellent ghost story and it did give me the shivers throughout, even up until the end when Horace concludes his testimony of the events, noting that the date is December 21--- which is today's date. A delightful shiver, indeed!
Horace was named after Horace Greeley, a pretty important historical figure, who I had never heard of, so now I am going to learn about him! I have heard of Andrew Greeley, but that is not related at all to this review. Anyway, great book!