The Ghosts of Rose Hill: Book summary and reviews of The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero

The Ghosts of Rose Hill

by R. M. Romero

The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero X
The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero
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Book Summary

With spellbinding verse prose, R.M. Romero channels the spirit of myth into a brilliantly original tale, inspired by her experiences restoring Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe.

Sent to stay with her aunt in Prague and witness the humble life of an artist, Ilana Lopez—a biracial Jewish girl—finds herself torn between her dream of becoming a violinist and her immigrant parents' desire for her to pursue a more stable career.

When she discovers a forgotten Jewish cemetery behind her aunt's cottage, she meets the ghost of a kindhearted boy named Benjamin, who died over a century ago. As Ilana restores Benjamin's grave, he introduces her to the enchanted side of Prague, where ghosts walk the streets and their kisses have warmth.

But Benjamin isn't the only one interested in Ilana. Rudolph Wassermann, a man with no shadow, has become fascinated with her and the music she plays. He offers to share his magic, so Ilana can be with Benjamin and pursue her passion for violin. But after Ilana discovers the truth about Wassermann and how Benjamin became bound to the city, she resolves to save the boy she loves, even if it means losing him—forever.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"An intoxicating blend of the contemporary and otherworldly, Romero's layered novel in verse interlaces romance and ghost story with an exploration of cultural identity, folklore, and history...In lyrical, immersive language that's both contemporary and ageless, Romero brings vivid life to the teenagers' powerful romance." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A magical realist romance told in verse explores the many transitions of life: from homelands to new homes, from childhood to adulthood, from life to death and back again...combines modern adolescent concerns, magical realism, and religious themes in pristine verse. An ode to the Diaspora and to the many folktales and myths populating Ilana's mixed heritage, Romero's luscious work dives into dark, painful caverns and emerges in sprays of enthralling hope. A must-read for lost souls everywhere." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Romero's novel in verse combines Judaic tradition with fantasy and is divided into movements like a classical musical piece." - Booklist

"Dreamy verse makes for an organic introduction to ghosts and Jewish folklore but remains rooted in the history of Prague and Ilana's struggles to negotiate her parents' immigrant identities...[A] mix of family drama, Jewish history, and the supernatural." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A modern Märchen steeped in a century of history. Both the beautiful and the monstrous come to life in gorgeous verse prose and a story that will haunt me for years to come. Absolutely breathtaking." – Kip Wilson, critically acclaimed author of White Rose

"The Ghosts of Rose Hill merges folk tale with reality, examining through haunting, evocative verse how little space there is between mythic monsters and the ones we must face in this world. Completely memorizing." – Joy McCullough, acclaimed author of Blood Water Paint

This information about The Ghosts of Rose Hill was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Gabi

Mesmerizing and Haunting
A one-of-a-kind coming of age story about a young Jewish teen sent off to spend her summer in Prague. Written in lyrical verse, this book enchanted me from the start. It is a love story and a ghost story intertwined by myth. Not usually one to read YA fiction or fantasy, I’m so glad I stumbled onto this exquisite and unique read.

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Author Information

R. M. Romero

R. M. Romero is a Jewish Latina and author of fairy tales for children and adults. She lives in Miami Beach with her cat, Henry VIII, and spends her summers helping to maintain Jewish cemeteries in Poland. The Ghosts of Rose Hill was inspired by these experiences.

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