A Certain Slant of Light, by Laura Whitcomb
Helen is a ghost. She has been for 130 years. All she can remember from her previous life is her name, age, and the fact that she is female. She survives through an attachment to hosts–living people to whom she clings. She has had five hosts, none of whom knew she existed. Helen cannot be seen, heard, or felt by the living. She is “Light,” while they are “Quick.” These are her terms for the ghost she is, and those she can only observe. As far as she knows, she is the only one of her kind. Helen is currently linked to Mr. Brown, a high school English teacher. It is during one of his classes that she is first seen by living eyes.
James is a ghost. He has been for 85 years. He has recently become the occupant of an abandoned living body. Billy Blake’s spirit splintered from his body, leaving an empty shell in which James took up residence. James now lives a semblance of a life, a combination of both Billy’s and his own. Billy, during his lifetime, was a student in Mr. Brown’s English class, and while carrying out Billy’s daily routine James sees Helen.
Helen and James are true soul mates, and their connection deepens after they acquire a body shell for Helen–that of Jenny, a young woman with a broken spirit. They soon begin to feel guilty, however, as they realize that they are effectively stealing the lives of their bodies’ former occupants. A Certain Slant of Light is part love story, part supernatural fantasy, and part mystery all rolled into one terrific book.
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