Jun 17, 2011

The Revenant

The Reveant by Sonya Gensler takes place at a female seminary in Talequah, Oklahoma before statehood.  Willie has stolen her roommates identity and teaching certificate and her job opportunity teaching girls at the seminary to avoid moving home to help her mother with the farm.  When she arrives she finds things are not as she expected, the girls are more educated and her room holds a secret.  It's former occupant died in an accident the prior year and many think it's haunted.  Willie must keep her identity secret and figure out how to be respected by her students while unraveling the mystery.

This is a very interesting historical paranormal.  The setting and time period is interesting and the author researched her background well.  Hearing Willie talk about herself (at 17) as an eternal spinster and being reprimanded for stepping out of the room with a boy is a stark contrast to how girls can act today.  The mystery surrounding the spirit is interesting and doesn't cause the author to make any huge jumps to imagine that it was true.  There was a bit of a romance that was sweet and approached in a fairly historically accurate manner.  The bits of poetry and Willie's love of literature are a nice addition to the story.  I was constantly engaged while reading and finished the book quickly.

Appropriateness:  The author went to pains to make the book historically accurate so there is no adult content and the romance is limited to glances and a few clandestine kisses.  Willie is seventeen and living and working as a teacher in a society that views her as an adult making this a good read for older teens.  I would recommend this book to teens 14 + with it being fully appropriate for younger readers.

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