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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 8 star ratings
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    Good, but wanted more supernatural and conspiracy.

    While reading Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella, I was amazed by her descriptions of the architect and the grounds of Harvard. You can tell she really explored the campus while there. And the history of the campus was very cool to read. One of the many reasons I love books is all the new things you learn, like when Harvard first began they had slaves who worked there. One of the many things I never learned in school. At 471 pages this is a longer book, but I wanted more… of some of it at least. The first 20% was Cadence aka Cady, rehashing her brother’s death over and over. And then it was repeated heavily throughout the rest of the book. While we all need to talk about mental illness and suicide more, I also pick up a fiction book for enjoyment, not to be brought down repeatedly. It took me a bit to finally get into the story, and then there wasn’t enough. I think people who read the synopsis and are drawn to Ghosts of Harvard for the supernatural aspect of the book may be disappointed. Although there is a ghost story in the book, well, actually three, it comes down to the ghosts helping Cady deal with her brother’s death, even while she is interacting with them. I wanted more of the ghosts. I wanted the ghosts to mean more than being a way to help her with her issues or teach us about history (even if they did in a cool way). And later on, when the mystery gets more involved, I wanted more of the conspiracy that her brother had been experiencing. So while there was too much of reliving her brother’s death, for me, there wasn’t enough mystery, ghosts, and conspiracies. Which makes me a bit sad because what Serritella did write in regards to them was excellent. I still highly recommend this book though, even if it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.
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    Ghosts of Harvard

    Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella is a fictional story (that mostly takes place at Harvard) but contains several of the "ghosts" of actual people who once resided there. Ghosts of Harvard is an interesting read which I found to be multi layered in "lessons" learned from it. I want to thank Net Galley and Random House for an early copy to review.
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    What a full, rich, marvelous story!

    I have enjoyed author Francesca Serritella’s essays and articles for years, so I expected good, solid, thoughtful writing in Ghosts of Harvard. But I have to admit I did not expect the depth and nuance, the brilliantly crafted characters, or the full, rich, fascinating history of Harvard. Or the ghost story that was so magnificently overlaid on and seamlessly woven in throughout Cady’s story. This is a book about family, about the strength Cady displays in even going to Harvard after her brother Eric committed suicide there, about Cady’s hope to find answers that might bring her family back to some kind of normal, and about her almost numbing fear that those answers might be too awful for her to live with. The story is populated with a vivid array of characters, some good, some bad, some real, some possibly imagined, and a surprising amount of action and suspense. Cady is in real danger at times. Ghosts of Harvard has many layers and multiple plotlines. There were a couple of characters that I didn’t like or trust from the start, so of course as the story neared its end I thought “Aha! I’ve figured it out, I knew this was the case.” Well, I shouldn’t have been so smug. Author Serritella introduces twists and turns and unexpected behavior and events and links that you won’t see until the very satisfying ending. Thanks to author Francesca Serritella and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of Ghosts of Harvard for my reading pleasure and honest review. All opinions are my own. This is an amazing book that is so engaging, so engrossing, so fulfilling that you won’t be able to put it down. You will be on Cady’s side from the start, especially when you realize how young and brave and determined she is and her memories of Eric will make you tear up and miss him as much as she does. I thoroughly enjoyed Ghosts of Harvard and recommend it without hesitation. I hope this is the first of many masterpieces from Francesca Serritella.

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