Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.
It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.
They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.
You can’t kill what’s already dead.
Seanan Mcguire brings us a new story with Sparrow Hill Road. She is known for the use of legends, fairy tales and myths in her stories, and just like it, we can see it in this book also. Do you remember the 1995 movie of Susie Q? Well that is what I thought of when I read Sparrow Hill Road. I liked that movie and I also liked this book. You can say that they are somewhat alike; If Susie were a hitchhiking ghost, psychopomp from time to time, eating in dinners and had a young old Hollywood star chasing her. But this Susie is Rose. Rose Marshall.
At the beginning of the book, the timeline of the story goes back and forth between Rose remembering events and persons. It is easy to keep up with the pace of the story and it even makes it more interesting. Another name for this book could be Rose’s Memories because this is what it is, the memories of a ghost, while alive and after death.
Some of the stories are sad, they’ll make your heart hurt and shed tears for the girl who couldn’t make it to prom. But others are happy, exciting and interesting; they make you want to keep reading to find out the conclusion. A good message would be to be truthful to yourself and fight for what you want to achieve even if is justice or revenge.
Half way through the book and I thought that the sad stories where over, but I was wrong. The book is divided into four parts and when you get to the last one it turns bitter-sweet.
“Her name was Rose. She was the only girl I ever loved-the only girl I guess I could have ever loved, the only girl that I was designed for loving. She wasn’t perfect. Nobody’s perfect. But she was close enough for a small town boy who dreamed of one day touching something greater. I guess she felt the same way about me. She came back to me, after all, even if it was only once, even if I didn’t know that she was already gone.
I’ve spent my whole life trying, but I never fell in love again-not the way I fell in love with her; when the world was young and innocent, and silly teenage boys believed their girlfriends were immortal. Her name was Rose.”
Sparrow Hill Road is set in the same universe as Incryptid. In Half-Off Ragnarok, Alex has a phone conversation with his sister, Verity, and mentions a ghost by the name of Rose Marshall that is taking her boyfriend and her to a death party in New Orleans. You can read the short story“The Ghosts of Bourbon Street”with the other half of the conversation and Rose at the author’s website. The book also comes with The Price Family Field Guide to the Twilight of North America Ghostroad Edition.
I really liked this book, I could even say I loved it. I recommend you to read Sparrow Hill Road, where America is divided in more than two, ghost like to eat burgers and fries, and you never know if the person walking down the road is alive or dead.
Would you pick up that girl at the diner? Tell us in the comments.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*