Read an eARC from the publisher
Content warning: absent parent (father), child sexual assault (Chapter 43, not depicted, heavily implied), mental illness, kidnapping, home invasion
Pie isn’t a ghost, not exactly. But no one can see her, except for her equally invisible mom. All her life, they’ve been traveling across the United States, and Pie’s special treat holiday is Halloween. She chooses Pittsburg as the destination in the hopes that she’ll see the girl whose house she squatted in a few years before.
Melancholy, tender, and spooky, this novel is a great examination of family born and chosen with a dash of boundary setting in more ways than one.
A blog interview will be going up with the author on release day, April 19, 2022.
The structure of this book lends well to giving a full spectrum look at the deep loneliness Pie experiences. Almost every chapter ends with a memory or an anecdote. So, we get to see her distance from people both in real time and the isolation it has caused in the past. The compassion the narration shows Pie’s mother is also incredible. Truly, a woman doing her best to protect her mother, and I would gladly read a spinoff story about her adolescence.
There are some moments which flex the suspension of disbelief, such as some of the robberies that take place. Pie’s father is an absolute scoundrel and while her supernatural abilities make it seem that he’s always going to be successful. The way this storyline unfolds as Pie learns to trust herself and others is truly heart-wrenching and I really like the open-endedness of it. Nothing is tidy, but it’s super hopeful, especially given the sadness that preceded this particular episode in her life.
If you’re looking for a read that features both loving support and stern accountability, the depiction of messy friendship is not something I’ve seen in fiction yet. While there is a happy for now, apologies don’t erase the upset. It’s an important depiction that conflict is inevitable but not relationship-threatening, especially among teen girls who are still in the process of discovering themselves.