Cover image for The Ghost Road / Charis Cotter
Title:
The Ghost Road / Charis Cotter
ISBN:
9781101918890
Publication Information:
New York, New York : Tundra, 2018.

©2018
Physical Description:
356 pages : genealogical table ; 21 cm
Abstract:
On her summer vacation, Ruth and her cousin Ruby begin exploring their family history, discovering that a twin from the previous generation was rumored to have The Sight and could see the Ghost Road leading to the lost settlement of Slippers Cove.
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Summary

Summary

For the first time, Ruth is heading to Newfoundland to stay with family she's never met instead of spending the summer traveling with her dad. When she arrives, she finds Newfoundland is very different from her life in Toronto--people there are much more friendly, but also superstitious, believing in ghosts and The Sight and family curses. Ruth's cousin Ruby is also staying for the summer, and the two discover they have a lot in common- they both lost their moms when they were two years old, they're the same age and they even like the same food. But while Ruby believes in spirits and fairies, Ruth believes in science and cold, hard facts.

When they find ominous information on some tombstones in the local cemetery, Ruth and Ruby start investigating their family's past and discover that twin girls are born in every generation, and every set of twins dies young, leaving their children without mothers. What's more, one of the twins always has The Sight and can see the Ghost Road that leads to the mysterious lost settlement of Slippers Cove. What happened there? What does it have to do with their family? And who is the ghostly presence that keeps visiting Ruth late at night?

The answers lie somewhere along the Ghost Road . . . if they can only find it.


Author Notes

CHARIS COTTER grew up beside a cemetery and has been living with ghosts ever since. She studied English in university and went to drama school in London, England. Her spooky, suspenseful first novel, The Swallow , was nominated for many awards and received countless honors, and her second novel, The Painting , is "full of emotional truth and connection" according to Kirkus Reviews . Charis has worked extensively in schools and libraries from coast to coast, using drama and storytelling to bring her books to life. Her performances of Newfoundland ghost stories have thrilled audiences of all ages, from Florida to Vancouver Island. She lives at the end of the road beside the ocean, in one of the most haunted parts of Newfoundland.


Excerpts

Excerpts

The ship was going down. There was a tremendous crack and sails fell to the deck, a mass of canvas and ropes. A broken boom swung wildly in the wind and the deck tilted to an impossible angle. People were shouting and screaming, and I felt myself sliding toward the water, grabbing at anything I could to stop myself. Then I heard my name, and I felt a strong hand grasp mine, and I looked up into my mother's face. "It's okay, Ruthie," she said, smiling in the midst of the rain and the wind and the chaotic, sinking ship. "I've got you." I jerked awake and sat up, gasping for breath. I felt the familiar pain in my chest that always came with this dream. My cheeks were wet with tears. For some reason my room was pitch-black. Usually a sliver of light from the hall shows under my bedroom door, but Dad must have forgotten to turn on the hall light. I fumbled for my bedside lamp, but it wasn't where it was supposed to be. Then I remembered. I wasn't in my bedroom in Toronto, surrounded by houses full of sleeping people, parked cars and streetlights. I couldn't call out to my father after a bad dream, because he and Gwen were in Greece. I was in Buckle, Newfoundland, at the end of the road, in the middle of nowhere. I was sleeping in the room my mother had slept in as a child, and my Aunt Doll was somewhere on the other side of the house. The side with electricity. I lay back down in the bed, trying to get my breathing under control. I was still shaking from the dream, and I was afraid that if I closed my eyes, I'd be back on that sloping ship's deck, sliding toward the black water. If only I could turn on a light, I could chase the dream away. Why was there no electricity in this part of the house? It was 1978! Everyone in Toronto had electricity all through their houses, not just on one side. What kind of a place was Newfoundland anyway? What had Aunt Doll said to me about the light in this room? Last night was a jumble of impressions: stumbling half-asleep from the car in the dark after the long drive from St. John's, climbing up the stairs, and walking along a hall, round a cornerand down a couple of steps into this room. Aunt Doll had an oil lamp she put on the tall dresser. She said she'd show me how to use it tomorrow. So no light. I took deep breaths, the way Dad taught me. In and out. "Everything can be controlled, Ruthie," he would say. "Just breathe." I've had recurring nightmares ever since I was a little kid. The shipwreck dream was one of the worst. Dad would always be there, as soon as I cried out, talking quietly to me. Telling me to breathe. To wake up. To look around and see my room, that it was only a dream. Except now he was on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean with Awful Gwen. And there was no light to turn on, and the dream was coming back: I could hear the creaking of the decks, the screams of the people drowning--no. I took another deep breath. I was safe in bed, and if I yelled loud enough, Aunt Doll would come. Or I could get up and find my way to her room and wake her up. I was fine. I breathed in and out. But I could still hear the creaking of the ship. Wait--not the ship. Footsteps. Aunt Doll? Coming to check on me? But I remembered her firm footsteps from earlier in the night. These were quite different. Lighter. Quieter. Getting closer. A faint glow appeared under the door, and then the door slowly opened. I caught my breath. A girl in a long white nightgown tiptoed into the room, carrying a candle that skittled in the draft and threw strange shadows across her face. She placed the candle carefully on the bedside table. Then she turned and climbed into the bed opposite mine. She leaned toward the light and her long blonde hair swung forward. She looked into my eyes for a second, smiled, then blew out the candle. I closed my eyes. A delicious feeling of calm spread over me. I wasn't alone anymore. I could hear her breathing softly. In and out. In and out. I let my breath match hers. The shipwreck nightmare evaporated. This must be my cousin Ruby. Aunt Doll said she was coming for the summer, but I didn't realize it would be tonight. Time enough to meet her properly in the morning. The darkness closed around us and we slept. Excerpted from The Ghost Road by Charis Cotter All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.