Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Ghost Stories, Book 1

Synopsis: 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.

Review: I love Seanan Mcguire and when I saw she had written a new novel, I was immediately intrigued. As always, the fact that the main character is a ghost also attracted me and I was curious to see how the author would bring such ideas. I must say that in the end I was very surprised because the novel was not at all what I expected. Oh no! We do not have a story here as we usually encounter it but a tiebreaker in several different parts that do not follow a chronological order, but rather with anecdotes, some dates and some meetings.

Rose Marshall died many years, forced to leave the only man she ever loved and wandering through the world since that time. Many rumors are circulating about her, some are nice, some compare her to a killer, but all are different. Since her death, this young 16 year old girl accompanies newly killed persons towards the road that will take them to their homes. Sometimes, however, she manages to prevent some accidents and these moments are always the most important ones. To interact with humans, Rose must perform a certain ritual each time. A person needs to give her a coat for her to appear really human and thus to eat and live a day like any other girls, without forgetting her mission. So she will meet here many characters who will greatly influence her decisions. But her existence is far from quiet because someone is always after her, the man who killed her and who will never cease to pursue her to recover what he considers his own.

I had a lot of fun with this novel. Everything is different and it is true that I was really curious about the Rose’s story, to understand how she ended up like that, and despite the rumors that we know from the beginning of the novel, her story is really touching. Despite her life and death, she does everything to help people and does the best she can for that. As everything is told in a fairly disjointed way, we really know the truth in the middle of the novel, but we learn a lot about the person she has become over the years, her objectives, her meetings, her battles. Oh yes, because there are battles, even if they are different from what we think. There are still young people who want to catch a ghost or ghosts who do not know what they are and wreak havoc around them. But she will also meet with Emma, ​​a sidhe who will become more than a friend to her. But you must know that in any case, Rose is a person you’ll love to discover, a nice girl, caring and who does not hesitate to put herself in danger for others.

It was so long since I had not cried while reading a book, but this one really touched me by the end. The story of the boy she loved was overwhelming and I did not expect that at all. It was in any case a very good story, far from what we would expect but still very informative. I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s ideas as well as the world she has created for her ghosts with this different hierarchy. A good story but I’m pretty curious to see what will happen thereafter.



37 thoughts on “Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

  1. I’m so glad you liked this, Melliane! I love Seanan McGuire, and I’ve had this since it was published, but when I got it, I flipped through it, and it looked almost like a collection of stories (and collections of stories are not my favorite), so I set it aside. I’ve since learned that that’s not what it is, but I still haven’t been really enthused to read it. This was much needed motivation 😉 Great review!

  2. Ahhh, I love when you have ghosts as main characters, there’s so much you can do with that, always makes it fun! Yay, it made you cry (okay, I don’t mean that in a bad way) just love books that makes you feel you know? Always the best ones. 🙂

  3. Gosh, I so want to read this. I had it scheduled and then with all the drama in my life over the past couple of months, I didn’t get it read, now I need to find time for it. I love the premise and I can’t resist a good ghost story.

  4. I’ve never read a book by her written as Seanan Mcguire (only those books she wrote as Mira Grant) though I’d like to check it out to see if her UF is different from her horror. I saw this and due to the title, thought it might have been an anthology type book. But from your review, it doesn’t seem like it. It also doesn’t sound like a conventional novel either, with the anecdotes and dates and such. Maybe an epistolary novel? I should check it out.

  5. I was quite excited about this one when I heard about it because I LOVE Urban Fantasy and while I’ve only read one book by the author, I really enjoyed it. I never did get around to reading it and I feel so bad about that now. Especially since this book sounds SO amazing. I hope I’ll get around to reading this one soon and I CANNOT wait to learn her story and the story of the boy she loved (so long as it isn’t tragic .-.).

    LOVELY review, Melliane!

  6. Oh my gosh, this made you cry?! I must read it immediately. I love Seanan’s Mira Grant books, but I’ve been hesitating with her UF since there are so many books and it feels kind of overwhelming. this sounds doable and very good, though–must read ASAP. thanks for the review, Melliane!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  7. I haven’t read any of this authors works. I think I may have first found out about this author , here on your blog. I must read some. I do like this cover. When you say you were touched by this book, you have me very interested to read it. I love a 3D feeling when reading a book.


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