Monday, November 4, 2013

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Mary is forced to travel to San Francisco during the worst Spanish flu outbreak ever in 1918 after her father is accused of supporting Germans.  In addition to the flu which is claiming lives every day, Mary has to deal with wounded soldiers back from World War I and the death of her fiancé.  Her aunt continues to force Mary to relive her time with her fiancé by visiting his brother who is a spirit photographer - someone who claims to take pictures of people with the ghosts of loved ones in the background.  Mary doesn't believe in spirit photography until she is visited by her fiancé who seems to be trying to tell her something about his death.  Mary is pulled deeper and deeper into the spirit world as well as a murder.  There's A LOT happening in this book and while it could make for a compelling booktalk, I don't think that many students would stick with the story.  There's also a bit of racy material in Mary's visits with her fiancé.