The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
The Ghost Bride
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Set in 1890s Malaysia, this is the story of seventeen-year-old Li Lan, whose quiet life with her father is dramatically altered when he returns one evening with a proposition for her. The wealthy and powerful Lim family want Li Lan to marry their son - the only problem is, he's dead. An invitation to visit the Lim mansion leaves Li Lan haunted by her ghostly suitor - yet the truth is she feels a powerful connection to the Lim's handsome (and very much alive) young heir. When Li Lan is drawn into the Chinese afterlife - an unearthly world of paper funeral offerings, confusing bureaucracy and spirits with agendas of their own, she realises she is in terrible danger. Will she be able to unravel the strange secrets of the ghost world and escape to the land of the living, before her would-be husband traps her there forever?
Inspired by traditional Malaysian folklore, this is a beautifully written historical novel. Wonderfully atmospheric, this hauntingly magical tale is an impressive debut from Yangsze Choo, providing an enchanting alternative to the run-of-the-mill young adult romance.