The Ghost Road by Charis CotterThe Ghost Road by Charis Cotter

The Ghost Road

byCharis Cotter

Hardcover | September 4, 2018

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Ghosts, a family curse, buried secrets -- and two girls who have to figure it all out. A new book from an acclaimed author, for fans of Coraline, Doll Bones and The Night Gardener.

For the first time, Ruth is heading to Newfoundland to stay with family she's never met instead of spending the summer traveling with her dad. When she arrives, she finds life in the small community of Buckle very different from Toronto--everyone knows everyone else, and some of them believe in ghosts and The Sight and family curses. Ruth's cousin Ruby is also staying for the summer, and the two discover they have a lot in common: they both lost their moms when they were two years old, they're the same age and they even like the same food. But while Ruby believes in spirits and fairies, Ruth believes in science and cold, hard facts.

When they find ominous information on some tombstones in the local cemetery, Ruth and Ruby start investigating their family's past and discover that twin girls are born in every generation, and every set of twins dies young, leaving their children without mothers. What's more, one of the twins always has The Sight and can see the Ghost Road that leads to the mysterious lost settlement of Slippers Cove. What happened there? What does it have to do with their family? And who is the ghostly presence that keeps visiting Ruth late at night?

The answers lie somewhere along the Ghost Road . . . if they can only find it.
CHARIS COTTER grew up beside a cemetery and has been living with ghosts ever since. She studied English in university and went to drama school in London, England. Her spooky, suspenseful first novel, The Swallow, was nominated for many awards and received countless honors, and her second novel, The Painting, is "full of emotional truth...
Title:The Ghost RoadFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:368 pages, 8.31 × 6.56 × 1.19 inShipping dimensions:8.31 × 6.56 × 1.19 inPublished:September 4, 2018Publisher:TundraLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1101918896

ISBN - 13:9781101918890


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lacks Something Canadian writer Charis Cotter starts out The Ghost Road with a strong description of the Maritimes of Canada. She describes a lovely setting that includes the natural area, cute lighthouses, cottage-type housing and the coastal shore. One of the best mood setting lines in the book is: "You’re walking on a fairy path, my love, and just because you don’t believe in them, doesn’t mean they won’t come after you." We start to get a sense of the magic that might lie just beyond or within the Canadian land. Unfortunately the first few chapters are easily the best part of the book. Boring Mystery I hate to say it but this was just a boring book. I know it's written for middle aged kids and all; but that doesn't mean that things have to happen so slow or be obvious. I had the book pegged for what was likely to happen very early on. I was about 85% correct. There's just no fun in a book that sets up a mystery but doesn't really churn that mystery throughout. I want to feel the mystery, have theories, experience the characters theories, etc. Instead in The Ghost Road I just knew how it would eventually end up. Childish Writing Again I come back to the idea that middle aged kids do not need to have their books written as though they are stupid. I like middle aged books that are easy to read with some larger words thrown in that the kids can learn. While I was a voracious reader as a child (as I am as an adult) and at age 12 was into Lord of the Rings and The Eye of the World; I still think the average 12 year old reader can be given more credit. My 15-year-old nephew complained to me for years about how boring the books were in the middle-grade genre. He's a good reader but not more advanced per say than the average kid. I also had a moment while reading Cotter's Canadian story that I had written pieces of this book when I was a pre-teen. I had an idea about a hill that held magic and secrets. Mine wasn't in the Maritimes but in my home area that includes foothills, prairies and the Rocky Mountains. The general premise was very similar to that of The Ghost Road. This is telling to me. If this book isn't smarter than 13-year-old me then it could definitely be improved! Overall While our lead girl characters are fairly well developed and there are some interesting moments in The Ghost Road; overall it's just too dull. A bit more magic is needed to really bring the story alive and off the page. The biggest improvements that need to be made are to make the mystery more complex; and to really add some juicy information into the book. Were Cotter to make the historical mystery more interesting and add some complexity to the writing and characters; then I think she could really have something here. As it is I'm probably being generous at 3 stars. However I did finish reading and didn't hate it; just found it very lack luster. Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Date published: 2019-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book ever! Two inquisitive girls embark on a life-changing adventure on the unforgiving terrain of Newfoundland. This book is amazing! I couldn't put it down. If the option to rate it was 10 stars, it would get full marks. I can hardly wait for Charis to publish her next one!
Date published: 2018-10-30

Read from the Book

The ship was going down. There was a tremendous crack and sails fell to the deck, a mass of canvas and ropes. A broken boom swung wildly in the wind and the deck tilted to an impossible angle. People were shouting and screaming, and I felt myself sliding toward the water, grabbing at anything I could to stop myself. Then I heard my name, and I felt a strong hand grasp mine, and I looked up into my mother’s face. “It’s okay, Ruthie,” she said, smiling in the midst of the rain and the wind and the chaotic, sinking ship. “I’ve got you.” I jerked awake and sat up, gasping for breath. I felt the familiar pain in my chest that always came with this dream. My cheeks were wet with tears. For some reason my room was pitch-black. Usually a sliver of light from the hall shows under my bedroom door, but Dad must have forgotten to turn on the hall light. I fumbled for my bedside lamp, but it wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Then I remembered. I wasn’t in my bedroom in Toronto, surrounded by houses full of sleeping people, parked cars and streetlights. I couldn’t call out to my father after a bad dream, because he and Gwen were in Greece. I was in Buckle, Newfoundland, at the end of the road, in the middle of nowhere. I was sleeping in the room my mother had slept in as a child, and my Aunt Doll was somewhere on the other side of the house. The side with electricity. I lay back down in the bed, trying to get my breathing under control. I was still shaking from the dream, and I was afraid that if I closed my eyes, I’d be back on that sloping ship’s deck, sliding toward the black water. If only I could turn on a light, I could chase the dream away. Why was there no electricity in this part of the house? It was 1978! Everyone in Toronto had electricity all through their houses, not just on one side. What kind of a place was Newfoundland anyway? What had Aunt Doll said to me about the light in this room? Last night was a jumble of impressions: stumbling half-asleep from the car in the dark after the long drive from St. John’s, climbing up the stairs, and walking along a hall, round a cornerand down a couple of steps into this room. Aunt Doll had an oil lamp she put on the tall dresser. She said she’d show me how to use it tomorrow. So no light. I took deep breaths, the way Dad taught me. In and out. “Everything can be controlled, Ruthie,” he would say. “Just breathe.” I’ve had recurring nightmares ever since I was a little kid. The shipwreck dream was one of the worst. Dad would always be there, as soon as I cried out, talking quietly to me. Telling me to breathe. To wake up. To look around and see my room, that it was only a dream. Except now he was on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean with Awful Gwen. And there was no light to turn on, and the dream was coming back: I could hear the creaking of the decks, the screams of the people drowning—no. I took another deep breath. I was safe in bed, and if I yelled loud enough, Aunt Doll would come. Or I could get up and find my way to her room and wake her up. I was fine. I breathed in and out. But I could still hear the creaking of the ship. Wait—not the ship. Footsteps. Aunt Doll? Coming to check on me? But I remembered her firm footsteps from earlier in the night. These were quite different. Lighter. Quieter. Getting closer. A faint glow appeared under the door, and then the door slowly opened.I caught my breath. A girl in a long white nightgown tiptoed into the room, carrying a candle that skittled in the draft and threw strange shadows across her face. She placed the candle carefully on the bedside table. Then she turned and climbed into the bed opposite mine. She leaned toward the light and her long blonde hair swung forward. She looked into my eyes for a second, smiled, then blew out the candle. I closed my eyes. A delicious feeling of calm spread over me. I wasn’t alone anymore. I could hear her breathing softly. In and out. In and out. I let my breath match hers. The shipwreck nightmare evaporated. This must be my cousin Ruby. Aunt Doll said she was coming for the summer, but I didn’t realize it would be tonight. Time enough to meet her properly in the morning. The darkness closed around us and we slept.

Editorial Reviews

One of CCBC’S Best Books for Kids & Teens (Spring 2019)PRAISE FOR The Ghost Road: “Cotter’s complex and engrossing story is enhanced by its superbly presented isolated Newfoundland setting and a satisfying dose of ghosts.” --Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews “The windswept shores of Newfoundland and the Irish folklore add just enough mystique to the setting, making this a winning choice for readers looking for a mystery with a chilly atmosphere but a happy ending” --The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books“Cotter’s story is as coloured with the culture of her setting as it is with the drama of visions, storms and plot twists.” --Toronto Star“A must-read for adventure seekers!” --School Library Connection“[A] story about shared family trauma . . . . steeped in a chilling mystery that esteems its middle-grade readers.” --Booklist“Readers with an interest in ghosts will be enthralled by this fast-paced story that combines the enchantment of old-time Newfoundland with some spine-chilling drama.” --Resource Links“[A] delightful ghost story full of mystery and intrigue, with just the right amount of creepiness.” --CM Magazine "[A] subtle and effective account of empowerment and strength.” --Quill & Quire"Be prepared to stay up all night with a flashlight, as you will find it hard to stop reading this suspenseful story." --The Telegram (Newfoundland and Labrador)