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FUNERAL SONGS FOR DYING GIRLS by Cherie  Dimaline Kirkus Star


by Cherie Dimaline

Pub Date: April 4th, 2023
ISBN: 9780735265639
Publisher: Tundra Books

Nearly 16-year-old Winifred Blight’s life is forever changed when she falls in love with a ghost.

Business is bad at Toronto’s Winterson Cemetery. This means trouble for Winifred and her father, Thomas, the chief crematory operator. If the cemetery closes, Thomas will lose his job and they’ll have to move out of their apartment above the admin offices. It’s just been Winifred and her White father since her mother, Mary Kalder, who was Métis from Georgian Bay with Romanian traveler ancestry, died during childbirth. Now, Winifred tries to find a way to save her home while navigating the humiliating and humbling trials that come with growing up in a cemetery, including being ostracized at school by peers who call her Wednesday Addams. As things look increasingly hopeless, a man who runs local ghost tours inquires about adding the cemetery to their itinerary. It would bring in money, which would be a good thing. But is the cemetery truly haunted? The “ghost” tourists spotted was actually friendless, bereft Winifred, dressed in a cape and curled up at the base of an obelisk. Complicating matters, she falls for Phil, the apparition of a 15-year-old girl who died of an overdose on the cemetery grounds. Winifred is an engaging lead with an emotional and fulfilling journey. Artfully melding horror, deadpan humor, and an impossible romance, this well-crafted narrative from Dimaline (Métis) follows lived-in characters who are tortured by grief.

Atmospheric, intimate, and melodic; the rich storytelling sings.

(Fiction. 14-18)