Monday, 9 July 2018

Restless

Finished July 5
Restless: A Ghost's Story by Rich Wallace

As the title indicates, this story is told by a ghost. The story takes place in the town of Sturbridge, Pennsylvania, and the central character here is Herbie, a 17-year-old entering his senior year of high school. Up to now, Herbie played soccer, but the new coach doesn't appeal to him, and when he quits the team, the coach slings an insult at him that he couldn't make footfall or the cross-country team, so Herbie decides to do both. There are no rules against it, but it hasn't been done before, and meeting the challenges of both will require a lot of work on Herbie's end. As the year begins, one of his regular runs is through the cemetery, and Herbie's energy draws the attention of a ghost who hasn't been able to move on, Eamon Connelly, a young man who died in 1888, while trying to scale a cliff just below the cemetery late one night. But Eamon isn't the narrator of this story, although he does have a central role.
The narrator is Herbie's brother Frank, who died years ago when he was 17 of lymphatic cancer. Frank hasn't been able to move on either. He also hasn't been able to make himself felt in any way to Herbie, except in Herbie's dreams, even though he spends almost all his time with him.  But things seem to be changing. Herbie actually sees Eamon's ghost that night when he runs, and he begins to wonder, about energy, about life after death, about ghosts, and about many other things.
A couple of years back, Herbie's parents separated and he moves back and forth between them. This is definitely better than when they were together, arguing so much.
As he continues to work hard at school, at his sports, and as he meets a girl that seems to like him as much as he likes her, his interest in his brother and in the ghost he continues to encounter lead him to think hard. But he's not the only one. Frank is also entertaining some ideas that he never considered before, and that just might change everything.
A wonderful story of the need to prove oneself, of the idea of possibilities beyond what has been proven. A story that I truly enjoyed.

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