“The feminist ghost story you’ve been waiting for.” —Bustle
Unearthing years of buried secrets, Rilla Brae is haunted by ghostly visions tied to the tainted history of a mysterious island in this “electrifying, taut tale of the sea, grief, and memory” (Kathleen Glasgow) from the author of The Girl Who Fell.
Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.
Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about—if they know about it at all—due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there—an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam’s work and the ghostly girl’s song lure Rilla to the island’s shores.
As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow—until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past.
S.M. Parker lives on the coast of Maine with her husband and sons. She works as a literacy advocate and holds degrees from three New England universities. She can usually be found rescuing dogs, chickens, old houses, and wooden boats. She has a weakness for chocolate chip cookies and ridiculous laughter—ideally at the same time. The Girl Who Fell was her first novel. Find her at ShannonMParker.com.
“The feminist ghost story you’ve been waiting for.”
"An evocative backdrop of life as a lobsterman grounds the supernatural elements, and Rilla’s steeliness shines—she’s the kind of captain readers will eagerly follow. History and mystery meld beautifully in this ghost story with depth."
"Parker’s vivid descriptions of life on Maine’s coast and the lobstering business ground a haunting and atmospheric tale about the sea and reckoning with a community’s past."
– Publishers Weekly
"With a strong main character, a well-developed supporting cast, and illustrative story-telling, the author has succeeded in meshing multiple genres into one extraordinary YA novel."