Sunday, June 20, 2010

Book Review: Picture the Dead

Jennie’s connection with her twin brother, Toby, grew stronger after he died in 1864. Now Jennie must rely on her ability to communicate with the dead to find out what has happened to her beloved fiance, Will, while he was off at war. The army says he died honorably in battle. His brother confides that he became a violent criminal and died in a prison camp. Jennie begins to doubt that anyone is telling her the truth.

This intriguing combination of historical romance, paranormal thriller, and clever mystery is illustrated by bestselling artist Lisa Brown. The unique visuals originated from real Civil War daguerreotypes that were transformed into eerie mementos for Jennie’s scrapbook.

With the help of a spiritualist photographer, the spirit of her dead fiance, and the clues she discovers and keeps in her scrapbook, Jennie must put together the pieces of this mystery before she loses her home, her fortune, and possibly her life.

--From Goodreads

Cover Inspection:
I can't put my finger on what I love about this cover honestly, I just love it!

First Thoughts:
Civil War era awesomeness!


My Review:
We meet Jennie Lovell, a 16  year old girl who has suffered more than her fair share of tragedy in her short life. No parents, a brother who has passed on, and an Aunt and Uncle who ignore her very existence. Life for Jennie isn't easy and now, with her fiancé dead, she's a burden that might be put out into the street. What's a girl to do?

Jennie is a completely fabulous female protagonist. As my readers, you all know by now how I feel about female protagonist. Love them, or hate them, there's not really an in between for me. Strong in spirit, intelligent, and unwilling to take no as an answer, Jennie makes the story. Although she is in a Civil War era setting, there is a fire in her that would make "today's woman" proud! Following her through this haunting story was pure magic.

I can honestly say that being thrown straight into Jennie's tumultuous family relationship was a little hard to deal with at first. It seems at first as if there isn't much time to get to know her at all. However, reading on I realized that we do get to know Jennie quite well, just in bits and pieces throughout the book. I do believe this is the first book I've read where there is such a slow progression of character building, but in the long run I loved it! My absolute favorite part about this slow uncovering of her character were the scrapbook pages. Jennie keeps a scrapbook of mementos, and each chapter begins with a page. Lisa Brown did such a wonderful job on these, they will completely draw you in!

Reading through this book was a bit of heaven for me, because I am extremely interested in the Civil War era. A time where men provided, and women were dainty. Will and Quinn were brothers in blood, but war tainted them into two entirely different men. That fascinates me to no end. The setting is what drew me to this book in the first place, and I wasn't disappointed at all. The era is written about perfectly, showing readers clearly the precarious position that women of the times were often in. Women were well taken care of, as long as their men were alive.

The twists and turns in this book are amazing. It is the type of book that will leave you audibly gasping and resisting the temptation to turn ahead to see what happens. Picture the Dead stands out in my mind as one of the most interesting and unique books I've read this year! I can honestly say that I'll be purchasing a copy of this book for my very own quite soon. Its haunting storyline is still with me almost a week after reading it, and I feel the need to dive back in to this unique world.
Book Details
Title: Picture the Dead
Author: Adele Griffin
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: Hardcover; 224
Source: Around the World Tours

Final Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
[+/-] Click to see rating.


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