The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

Can a ghost story be both sweet and creepy?  Absolutely! The Year of the Shadows by Claire Legrand is a perfect combination of thrill, chill and heart.

Stellatella’s world has fallen apart. Her mother has disappeared. She’s had to move into an old concert hall with her Grandmother and her father, an orchestra conductor. Times are hard and Olivia finds herself haunted by questions about her mother and the anger she feels for her father. She retreats into the shadows of unhappiness until she realizes she’s not the only one there.

Obviously there are ghosts there. This is a ghost story. The concert hall is haunted. The ghosts need her help to find their “anchors,” the things that tie them to this life, that must be released so they can move on. But there are living people in the shadows as well. This is a story about hope. She shouldn’t be surprised that her father is there. He’s full of regret over the loss of her mother. But she is surprised that her friend Henry is there. He’s haunted by the loss of his family. As she works to save the ghosts, she ends up saving a great deal more.

The Year of the Shadows delivers what you expect from a ghost story and at the same time provides a wonderful glimpse into the world of classical music. It is appropriate even for younger readers. It is a must read.