Monday, June 10, 2013

In the Shadow of Blackbirds

by Cat Winters

In San Diego in 1918, the deadly Spanish flu is spreading. Coupled with the fact that World War I continues to take the lives of so many young men, it's no wonder that many are looking to seances and spiritualism to cope. Mary Shelley Black has been sent to San Diego after her father was arrested for anti-war activities. After she finds out her best friend was killed in the trenches, his spirit begins to haunt her. For a girl that doesn't believe in ghosts, she is forced to find a way to help the boy she loved find peace.

As a native San Diegan, I was excited to read a book set in my hometown. The book was pretty accurate (at least from what I know) in describing the city as it was in 1918. While I was a bit skeptical about the spiritualism angle of the book, Winters writes in a way that makes it believable. The era the book was set in was wrought with change and terror for people. Between the flu and the horrors of the war brought about by changes in weaponry it is easy to see why people were so willing to believe in spirits. A good read full of interesting characters and history.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 8th Grade

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