Title: A Certain Slant of Light
Author: Laura Whitcomb
# of Pages: 289
Favorite Quote: “I was part of his secret treasure.”
There seem to be a lot of books out now told from the point of view of a dead person. This is one of those books. A Certain Slant of Light is narrated by Helen, a 27-year-old woman who died 130 years ago and has been floating from person to person since then, unseen and unknown. Until one day, she feels someone watching her. This person is James, who has taken over the body of a boy, Billy. Billy OD’d on drugs and his spirit deserted him, leaving the body free for the taking by James. James and Helen fall promptly in love and James convinces Helen to take a female body, so that they can be fully together. Helen finds Jenny, a girl whose soul has been pushed out by her religious zealot-parents. Helen and James then spend some idyllic days together, but things unravel quickly when Helen/Jenny’s parents threaten to take her out of school and James/Billy’s brother begins to miss the person his brother used to be.
This story is lovely and grapples with many adult issues, even though it is geared towards young adults. Love, grief, redemption, forgiveness … it’s all here, and all woven in so successfully into a novel that you really can finish in a day. This book has a much happier ending and is not nearly as devastating as The Mercy of Thin Air, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t succeed as well. I enjoyed the characters and the language, and will definitely be looking for more by Whitcomb in the future.