Monday, February 06, 2006

"When you are Light, day and night have less meaning. The night is not needed for rest - it's merely an annoying darkness for several hours. But a chain of days and nights is the way in which the Quick measure their journeys. This is the story of my journey back through the Quick. I would climb into flesh again for a chain of six days."

Dead narrators have become quite popular since The Lovely Bones, but Helen, the ghost who narrates A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb, is one of the most intriguing narrators, dead or alive, I have encountered in some time. Helen has cleaved to a series of hosts for 130 years, a lonely observer in the world, watching from the edge of life, until a set of eyes meets hers. She is seen, and she is no longer alone.
James, like her, is Light - a spirit, but one who has discovered a body empty of its own spirit. He has reentered the world of the Quick in the body of Billy, a teen who has forced his own spirit out of his body with a near fatal overdose. James and Helen's attraction is immediate and intense, and Helen agrees to reenter the mortal world when they find Jenny, a girl whose rigid Christian parents have driven her creative spirit away. Helen enters Jenny's body, and James and Helen begin a Romeo and Juliet romance of passionate love and longing. But their bodies, and their time together, are only borrowed. In their human bodies, Helen and James begin to unravel their own secrets, and discover the secrets of the teens whose bodies they inhabit. A spiritual love story for older teens and adults, A Certain Slant of Light is subtle, mysterious and beautiful.

For a great in-depth review of A Certain Slant of Light, see Elizabeth Hand's review in the Washington Post.

What I'm reading: Inexcusable by Chris Lynch

On my bookshelf: ; Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (yeah, I snuck that one in there due to Sunday's edition of Unshelved); Rewind by Jan Page; Avalon High and Ready or Not by Meg Cabot (stay tuned for a Meg marathon)


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