3.49 STARS from 194 GoodReaders
The Grey Man is here, my thoughts sang.
The haze sharpened—it gathered. Like milk swirling into coffee, curves formed. Shades and shapes and angles, they became: black eyes, silver hair. A thin mouth, a sharp chin. A hand reached out to take mine. “I thought you would never come,” he said.
Willa Dixon's family are fishing folk. They live in a quaint little village where lobsters provide their livelihood. The family struggles to get along but are content until Willa's brother, Levi, is shot and killed. Then her family slowly falls apart as the tragedy overwhelms them.
With the help of her best friend Willa might have been able to move past Levi's death if it weren't for the criminal trial. She and Levi were on the boat alone when a man came up and shot him. Willa is the only witness, although she isn't the only one who knows why the murder took place. The whole village knows. And the whole village is adamant about keeping the reason a secret.
In her grief and with the pressure of the trial mounting, Willa seeks out the Grey Man, a local ghost who is supposed to be able to grant your wishes. And he will grant her desire but only at a terrible cost.
MISTWALKER is a ghost story for middle-graders and young adults. It is told from the point of view of the Grey Man and Willa, and while it has some very good elements, it is not a book I can whole-heartedly recommend.
Now part of this book was brilliant. Saundra Mitchell's descriptions were delicious. I could feel/smell/taste the small fishing village, the lobstering, the worming. And the way that Willa and her boy friend and best friend interacted was so believable. I truly wish that the author had just written about these peoples' efforts to work their ways through and out of this tragedy, rather than pursuing the ghost angle.
Also, the choice to tell the story from both points of view didn't work for me. It diminished the sense of creepiness, but this wasn't as big a problem as the pacing, which was very slow at times.
by Saundra Mitchell
Page Count: 320
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