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Thirteen-year-old Cath is a new girl at a Catholic convent. She is afraid of the nuns, unused to the restriction and terrified of God. She finds refuge in nature, and her friend Olive's vision of the starry limitless universe. Cath's sister Very is at art school in seventies Punk London. She lives a wild chaotic life with bedraggled artists, outrageous homosexuals, and shadowy nightclub owners. When Cath visits Very, the two sisters whirl through the city together, along Chelsea Embankment and through the alleys of late-night Soho. But London, like the convent, holds its dangers and Cath must find her own way through. Ghost Girl is a wonderful portrait of two sisters (each in their own way on the brink of growing up), of the sharp pain of adolescence and its particular loneliness, and of the exhilaration and dilemmas of youth. Suffused with colour and sensuality, this is an evocative and bittersweet vel from the acclaimed author of The Big House.
Helena McEwen is the author of The Big House. She lives in London.