An unexpected encounter with an old friend opens Aidan Lockwood’s eyes to extraordinary family secrets.
Aidan lives on a farm in Temperance, Ohio, that’s been in his family for generations. When Jarrod Doyle returns to finish his senior year after many years away, Aidan doesn’t recall him at all, let alone believe that they’d been best friends in elementary school. Jarrod reminds him that he used to tell stories of seeing strange things that no one else saw, including a creepy man in a black suit standing next to their teacher, who died the following day. Pieces of Aidan’s life are missing, as though he’s in a fog. As old memories resurface along with peculiar dreams, his clairvoyant mother explains to him that she’d put “a dust cover over certain memories and abilities” to protect him from a family curse. Her insufficient explanation and insistence that he not talk about such things with his father or brother push Aidan to search for answers, with Jarrod’s help. In the process, they rekindle a relationship that Aidan doesn’t remember they’d had, one that eventually goes deeper than simple friendship. Telling the tale in Aidan’s deliberate, meticulous voice, Barzak strikes a nice balance between contemporary teen issues and paranormal adventure.
Part ghost story, part love story, this page-turner is a captivating exploration of the power of place, family, memory, and time itself. (Paranormal suspense. 12-17)