Friday 8 April 2016

The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen by Katherine Howe

The Appearance of Annie Van SinderenIt’s summertime in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychic’s in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie.

As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose petal lips and her entrancing glow. But there’s something about her that he can’t put his finger on that makes him wonder about this intriguing hipster girl from the Village. Why does she use such strange slang? Why does she always seem so reserved and distant? And, most importantly, why does he only seem to run into her on one block near the Bowery? Annie’s hiding something, a dark secret from her past that may be the answer to all of Wes’s questions . . .

Wes is a film student, doing a summer course at NYU that will hopefully let him transfer full time in the autumn. He is busy playing technician for a friend's art film of a seance when he is mystified by a girl in the corner. Thus begins a strange and complicated relationship with Annie. 

I was intrigued by this right from the off; I love a good mystery, add in ghosts, seances and the grit of New York city and I am all over it! Admittedly, it was all a bit strange to start with, it was difficult to see where the story was going but that kind of made it fun. I definitely didn't expect this other girl Maddie to play such an important part, in making Wes open up and in Annie's mysterious story. But she was a very cool counter balance, if you like, a thought-provoking hipster to counter-act Wes's shy nature. 

Told in three parts (Wes, Annie, then Wes and Annie), we see how the two of them connect and weave together across the years and across the city. It was quite satisfying to see how the pieces fitted together by the end. All in all, it was a very clever, funny and moving ghost story that doesn't use the word "ghost".

Published 7th April 2016 by OneWorld Publications. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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