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Cannonball Read 2 #28: The Night Country: A Novel by Stewart O'Nan

The Night Country is narrated by Marco, one of three high school juniors who died in a horrible car crash. Along with Toe and Danielle, Marco has been drifting as invisible ghosts through the small town of Avon, being "called" to those who are thinking of them. They spend most of their time with Brooks, a police officer who was there the night of the accident and has been unable to forget, Tim, their friend who somehow escaped the crash unscathed, and Mrs. Henderson, the mother of their friend Kyle, whose body survived the crash, but whose personality and mental capacity didn't. One year to the day from the tragedy, we--with the three ghosts--watch events spiral out of control.

The book is great, and although not what I call a "ghost story" necessarily, it does have a lot of suspense regarding what the living characters will do, and what--if anything--the ghosts will do to intercede. The tension builds and builds as it becomes obvious what Tim's plan to celebrate the anniversary is. When the ghost of "real Kyle" also shows up--on a different plane, perhaps, than the other three--his motivations are also cause for suspense.

The book is well-written, though I think of it almost more as a YA book than as an adult novel. The only thing really adult about it is the language, and even that is pretty tame. It was well-written, and the characters were fairly well fleshed-out. On the whole, I enjoyed it and would recommend it as a light read.


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