It's hard to believe the book gets better than the title, but it does. This WWII-era tale travels all over Chicago, dropping in on the stories of Great Migration factories and women war workers, while focusing its energies on a Catholic orphanage through the narration of an unmoored spirit searching for her own story. Every sentence is delicious, and they gradually accumulate to paint the picture of a class of people hungry for the sort of success America promises without often delivering and the plight of being a girl in a world that tells you all the meaningful sacrifices are made by boys.— From Sarah
National Book Award 2019 Finalist!
From the author of Printz Medal winner Bone Gap comes the unforgettable story of two young women—one living, one dead—dealing with loss, desire, and the fragility of the American dream during WWII.
When Frankie’s mother died and her father left her and her siblings at an orphanage in Chicago, it was supposed to be only temporary—just long enough for him to get back on his feet and be able to provide for them once again. That’s why Frankie's not prepared for the day that he arrives for his weekend visit with a new woman on his arm and out-of-state train tickets in his pocket.
Now Frankie and her sister, Toni, are abandoned alongside so many other orphans—two young, unwanted women doing everything they can to survive.
And as the embers of the Great Depression are kindled into the fires of World War II, and the shadows of injustice, poverty, and death walk the streets in broad daylight, it will be up to Frankie to find something worth holding on to in the ruins of this shattered America—every minute of every day spent wondering if the life she's able to carve out will be enough.
I will admit I do not know the answer. But I will be watching, waiting to find out.
That’s what ghosts do.
Laura Ruby is the author of books for adults, teens, and children, including Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All and the Michael L. Printz Medal winner Bone Gap, both National Book Award finalists; the Edgar Award nominee Lily’s Ghosts; and the Book Sense Pick Good Girls as well as the first two books in the York Saga. She is on the faculty of Hamline University’s MFA in writing for children and young adults program and lives in the Chicago area. You can visit her online at www.lauraruby.com.