“I hope you aren’t afraid of ghosts”
Mila has just aged out of foster care and been offered an internship teaching children. She will live and work with her employers, Terry and Julia, on a farm in the middle of nowhere.
Everything was beautiful and nothing was perfect, and I didn’t know how I could have been chosen to be there.
Mila is searching for a place to call home and desperately wants to keep the past in the past. No one told her about the ghosts, though.
I flew through this book. Granted, it was short but I don’t remember the last time I finished a novel in under a day. For months now my attention span has been appropriately equivalent to that of a fruit fly.
People need to know where they fit in in the world.
I didn’t have to work to get into Mila’s story and it was easy to lose myself in it. I loved imagining the flowers, the fog and the walk to the beach. For a while I wondered if the farm was going to turn out to be a cult because the atmosphere was so intoxicating; my wanting it to be a safe place warred with my suspicion that it was all too good to be true.
Because this book is so short there wasn’t a lot of time spent on developing the characters. I wanted to find out more about Terry and Julia’s backgrounds and I didn’t get much of a sense of Liz and Billy’s personalities. I found most of the children fairly interchangeable, although I adored Lee and would like to formally register my interest in adopting him.
I spent much of this book thinking about the hold memories can have over us and how daunting it can be to face our fears. Although Mila feels shame about the past, she is also resilient. The wounds of the past continue to haunt her but she is still able to care deeply about people. I always love found family stories and was keen for Mila to find the acceptance and sense of belonging she’s craved for so long.
I wish I could be one of you
Content warnings include mention of abandonment, drug addiction and gaslighting.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Text Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
Mila is used to being alone. Maybe that’s why she said yes. Yes to a second chance in this remote place, among the flowers and the fog and the crash of waves far below. But she hadn’t known about the ghosts.
Newly graduated from high school, Mila has aged out of the foster-care system. So when she’s offered a job and a place to live on an isolated part of the Californian coast, she immediately accepts. Maybe she will finally find a new home – a real home. The farm is a refuge, but it’s also haunted by the past. And Mila’s own memories are starting to rise to the surface.