Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Persephone’s blessing says hands off to creepy boys who bargain with the crossroads and want to hurt me.”
Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, MI. On her way to look for her boyfriend after he stood her up for the prom, she is chased to her death on the infamous Sparrow Hill Road. A psychopomp of sorts but referred to a hitcher, Rose haunts the local truck stops and diners, always the last face seen before death claims another traveler while staying one step ahead of her killer. Hellbent on winning her freedom from a man who bargained with the crossroads, Rose will do whatever it takes to destroy him. After all, she has all the time in the world.
Anyone who has grown up in the midwest has heard of the Phantom Prom Date Ghost or the Girl in the Silk Green Dress. An Urban legend that despite its many names and appearances, all centers around a sixteen-year-old girl who died on her way to the prom and often appears to those driving down a long winding road, looking for a ride home. McGuire expands upon this legend, gracing readers with a humorous and bittersweet piece of Americana folklore as she tells us the story of the spirit known as the Girl in the Diner, the Lady in Green, The Phantom Prom Date, the Shadow of Sparrow Hill Road, and her journey through death as she plays guide for the dead while plotting revenge against the man who killed her.
“Let’s go kick some dead guy arse.”
McGuire’s already active imagination goes into hyperspeed as she builds a whole nother world that exists between twilight and daybreak. Set in her Incrypid world, McGuire draws upon different legends and mythology to add flavor and depth to Rose’s story. Originally presented in serial form (2010), McGuire restructures theses stories, shuffling them into four parts, with each part focusing on on an individual moment in Rose’s life. Though they are all set loosely in order, they read a little abrupt with some repetition until they find their rhythm. Using a conversational style of narrative, McGuire flashes between the past and the present as she slowly prepares Rose for what’s to come.
Rose is an entertaining conversationalist. Lively and opinionated with a very dry wit, she had me laughing throughout the book.
“I have never wanted to punch a highway in the face as badly as I do right now.”
Though perpetually sixteen, Rose is no juvenile anymore having been dead for over fifty years. Surprisingly not bitter over what happened to her, she took her death in stride and now looks forward to the little things that soften the unbendable rules she is forced to adhere too. Cheeseburgers…milkshakes… a nice warm coat. She has plenty of friends among the living and dead, each one a viable force to be reckoned with. Rose’s home away from home is the Last Chance Diner, owned and operated by her bestie, a bean sidhe named Emma. Emma knows how the rules work with Rose and helps when she can, but she doesn’t coddle Rose and often tells it like it is.
“I’m not the only hitcher in this state.”
“Is that so? And what state are we in then, Rosie-my-dear? Denial? Transition? Oh, could be in the state of grace? I’m really quite fond of that one, grace.”
Other personable entities drift in and out of Rose’s life as she travels the ghostroads towards her destiny. A destiny that harkens back to her murder and a love that never died.
Sparrow Hill Road is a unique ghost story filled with both light and dark moments that offers readers something different in this genre. McGuire leaves us with more than one unanswered question and I am looking forward to revisiting this world and spending more time with Rose, Gary, and the other residents of this world. Book two