A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram #1) by Lauren DeStefano

A Curious Tale of the In-Between rating
(Pram #1)
To Be Published Sept 2015

Pram Bellamy is special—she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

Lauren DeStefano is beloved by critics and readers alike, and her middle grade debut is lyrical, evocative and not to be missed.

Not every adult is immature enough to enjoy a middle school book, but this one sounded intriguing on Netgalley and had such high reviews here I had to try for it. Plus, I'm rather immature.

The 5 star rating reflects a children's book rating, so bear that in mind. For any age this is enjoyable, though, as the author has such a beautiful style of writing. It's like being sent back in time to English Gothic fiction but with a surreal, dreamy touch. Seriously, it's awesome. Her writing style is beautiful in its simple complexity, haunting with its theme.

Not a simple story for a child by any means - there are layers of sadness touching upon different circumstances and stages of grief. Someone who never knew her parents, a person who just lost their mother to death, a child who died and can't remember what it felt like to be alive.

Pram is a worthy heroine - imaginative, fun, compassionate - but not so to where it's simplified and cloying. Clarence is absolutely loveable and I can believe the sparks without the author having to paint the picture. Who couldn't love Felix? My anguish wondering about him was real when Pram herself worried.

The supernatural in the mix isn't normal for this kind of work but works perfectly to convey how death is an inevitable force that is simply seen here as the next stage. Attempts are tried to reconnect with lost ones but I'll leave out the spoiler whether that works or not.

If you have a child who wants to read, get them this. The imaginative world is craftily told in words that capture the mind as well as the story itself (and the possibility it opens) does.

Received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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