By Marcus Sedgwick, published by Orion.
“Supposing you wanted to prove something important. Supposing you wanted to prove, for arguments sake, that there is life after death.”
It’s 1798. A strange doctor called Dr. Barrieux becomes obsessed with the question, ‘is there life after death?’. With the help of an innocent person he tries to unveil the truth.
In 2010, a strange girl called Ferelith becomes obsessed with the same question. She lives in the same house that the doctor did, and discovers his work.
A new girl called Rebecca arrives in the small village of Winterfold, and meets Ferelith. As they become friends, they discover each others secrets. But Ferelith’s obsession with the ‘life after death’ question takes over, and so begins some shocking events that will change the girls’ lives forever…
I really enjoyed this book! It’s a modern, horrific, Gothic tale told in three narratives: One in diary entries/letters from the doctors assistant in the 1700’s, one from Fereliths’ perspective and the other following Rebecca version of events. Although it was quite confusing at first, I totally loved this way of Sedgwicks’ writing. The stories came together quite well at the end. I also liked how there was the main story of the doctor in the 1700’s experimenting on people to find out the truth of the afterlife and Ferelith walking in his footsteps, but also a sub-story following the reasons why Rebecca had come to Winterfold. I think her story of her father and the murdered girl was lost a bit in the last chapters, and I would have liked to know the full story of it, but otherwise I really loved this book. It’s a brilliant modern horror story from an equally brilliant author. I would recommend it to YA’s and adults alike!