The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond

Union Square & Co. Oct. 2022. 368p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781454946786.
Gr 7 Up–In this exhilarating historical fantasy, 17-year-old twins Edie and Violet work to find, bind, and banish a malevolent spirit that’s been preying on vulnerable women in late 19th-century Sacramento. Although the twins can cross into death, Edie and Violet use their stage-time at their traveling Spiritualist show to cultivate their non-supernatural talents—theatrical Violet enacts spirit-possession, while Edie “channels” the spirit of Benjamin Franklin to argue for women’s rights. But when fellow mediums start disappearing, Edie tracks them to the closed doors of a sinister asylum. To get inside, she teams up with Lawrence, a young, muckraking journalist. There is much to enjoy as Edie falls in love, deals with Violet’s growing independence, and faces an unexpected source of the predatory “shadow.” Edie’s ventures into death are reminiscent of Garth Nix’s Sabriel, while still being original. The action is fast-paced and thrilling, with rich historical detail. In her debut, Glaze touches on abortion rights, the suffrage movement, the history of psychiatric medicine, and the female empowerment of the Spiritualist movement, all while keeping the plot racing and giving Edie, Violet, and Lawrence emotional room for growth. This is a novel where an intelligent, resourceful heroine scores points for justice, then gets to keep her sister, the boy, and her career.
VERDICT By turns fun and terrifying, this suspenseful historical adventure hits all the sweet spots on sisterhood, the supernatural, and budding romance.

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