The Path Of Names by Ari Goelman

Well this was a delightful surprise.

Ari is a parent at Dickens. He brought this uncorrected proof in last week. I worried that I wouldn’t like it and then what would I say?

There was nothing to worry about.

I started reading Friday evening after I got home from work. I read it through supper. I didn't stop (except to do the dishes) until it was done. It is an exciting, gripping read.

Dahlia is a 13-year-old magic and math geek. Getting along with kids her age is a challenge. She is forced to go to Jewish summer camp in exchange for being able to go to magic camp later on. Her brother, Tom, has gone for years but something peculiar and frightening happened to Dahlia last time she visited him there, a feeling like being hit by lightening. She hasn’t been back since.

There is cause for her apprehension. At camp Dahlia ends up seeing ghosts and finds herself caught up in a seventy two year old murder mystery.

In the beginning I was  confused a by some aspects of Jewish Orthodoxy, but it certainly didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the story. In fact, I was fascinated and want to learn more.  Just where did historical reality transform into magical realism; dragging me willingly along for the ride? 

 I love the characters - especially how Dahlia grows and becomes more confident as the story progresses. I loved how she and Tom connected. I loved that it was scary, but not so scary that I didn’t want to read it. I loved the mystery, how the tension and suspense grew. I found the ending to be completely satisfying. 

I can't wait to get a final copy for the library! Alas, that won't be til May or June.

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