The Ghosts of Heaven

The Ghosts of Heaven

3.68 (2,496 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A cleverly interlinked novel written in four parts by PRINTZ AWARD-winning author, Marcus Sedgwick, about survival and discovery, and about the effect of the spiral, a symbol that has no end, on all our lives. The spiral has existed as long as time has existed. It's there when a girl walks through the forest, the moist green air clinging to her skin. There centuries later in a pleasant green dale, hiding the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who they call a witch. There on the other side of the world, where a mad poet watches the waves and knows the horrors they hide, and far into the future as Keir Bowman realises his destiny. Each takes their next step in life. None will ever go back to the same place. And so their journeys begin...'Marcus Sedgwick's beguiling novel about human longing, The Ghosts of Heaven, is a triumph...The four stories in themselves are engrossing and fluently written but what makes this book something special is that, as a whole, it is also a beguiling and philosophical account of human longing and the unknown.' Martin Chilton, THE TELEGRAPHshow more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 448 pages
  • 142 x 218 x 40mm | 579.99g
  • Hachette Children's Group
  • Indigo (an Imprint of Orion Children's)
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1780621981
  • 9781780621982
  • 165,056

Review quote

The Ghosts of Heaven is an excellent book that will open up new avenues of thought and future reading and introduces teenage readers to a more inventive understanding of storytelling. The Ghosts of Heaven is a book teens are likely to remember as a pivotal reading experience. BOOKTRUST It's an intelligent, ambitious and hugely satisfying novel showing that there's no need to stick with simple for young adult fiction. -- Anna James WELOVETHISBOOK.COM Marcus Sedgwick's beguiling novel about human longing, The Ghosts of Heaven, is a triumph... The four stories in themselves are engrossing and fluently written but what makes this book something special is that, as a whole, it is also a beguiling and philosophical account of human longing and the unknown. -- Martin Chilton THE TELEGRAPH Marcus Sedgwick is the kind of author you utterly love and find annoying at the same time. Mainly because he's so incredibly clever and smart that is on another level that you can't believe he manages to pull off these great stories every time; and yet he does... They're tales of the odd and slightly unexplained with a sense of sorrow lingering around them. Marcus Sedgwick is Poe for this generation as he weaves tales that make you want to lock your doors when your alone. SISTER SPOOKY If anyone ever suggests to you that science and art (or philosophy) don't go together, give them this book! Four fabulous stories from different time frames linked by the natural constant of the spiral. From pre-history to the distant future there are spirals, and humans longing to make sense of them. This really does have to be the book of the year. THE BOOKBAG Ghosts of Heaven is a return to Sedgwick's talent for interlocking stories and symbols last seen in his 2012 novel Midwinterblood. It's an intelligent, ambitious and hugely satisfying novel showing that there's no need to stick with simple for young adult fiction. -- Anna James WE LOVE THIS BOOK The book has an overarching theme of the spiral. Marcus Sedgwick is exceptionally clever in his writing, something which was made apparent with his previous book She Is Not Invisible (If you haven't read that please do so. Now.) and something that is reinforced in this book. There are many little titbits that if you aren't playing close attention you will miss, but thats not to say its a hard book to read. I really enjoyed the theme and what it stood for, how it effected the different characters I met. READARAPTOR Marcus Segwick's writing is amazing. Each story completely takes you in. They are gems in their own right but then they also work together to make this book... I still can't find the right words. Just wow. The Ghosts of Heaven is without a doubt one of the best books I've read this year! LITTLE LUNA'S LIBRARY I like that Marcus Sedgwick takes risks and is always trying to broaden his appeal to a wider readership. The Ghosts of Heaven is fascinating, tragic, and utterly compelling. HACKWRITERS.COM Each story reflects the last and also adds meaning to the story that follows. Sedgwick's writing is easy to comprehend yet is also heavily textured. Key elements in each story resonate throughout the work, and common themes emerge naturally. This is a lesson in perception and meaning and though more learned readers may find some of the plotlines a little bit too obvious, it's still an extremely enjoyable journey, and one that should fascinate mature minds of all ages. STARBURST Teenage readers who like their books to have ambition will find much to admire in Marcus Sedgwick's The Ghosts of Heaven, whose recurring motif is the idea of a spiral, which addresses the meaning of life. -- Lorna Bradbury THE TELEGRAPH This theme [what makes a person who they are] is also examined with grace and thoughtfulness by Marcus Sedgwick in Ghosts of Heaven. Sedgwick's writing is human and gripping. Another one for the fireside, and it will plant questions in any teenager's mind. -- Philip Womack LITERARY REVIEW ...evoke vivid characters, trigger ideas and add up to sophisticated and sometimes disturbing exploration of our response to the unknown. -- Nicolette Jones THE SUNDAY TIMES Teenage readers who like their books to have ambition will find much to admire in Marcus Sedgwick's The Ghosts of Heaven, whose recurring motif is the idea of a spiral, which addresses the meaning of life. -- Lorna Bradbury TELEGRAPH A startlingly original novel with a strong concept link to the motif of a spiral. A hugely ambitious work. -- The Judges COSTA BOOK AWARDSshow more

About Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick is a full time author. His first novel, FLOODLAND, won the BRANFORD BOASE AWARD for the Best Debut Children's Novel of 2000. Since then his books have been shortlisted for the GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION PRIZE, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD, the COSTA BOOK AWARD, the CARNEGIE MEDAL and the EDGAR ALLAN POE AWARD. His novel, MIDWINTERBLOOD, won the 2014 MICHAEL L. PRINTZ AWARD. He lives near Cambridge. Find his website at www.marcussedgwick.com and follow him on Twitter @marcussedgwick.show more

Flap copy

The spiral has existed as long as time has existed. It's there when a girl walks through the forest, the moist green air clinging to her skin. There centuries later in a pleasant greendale, hiding the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who they call a witch. There on the other side of the world, where a mad poet watches the waves and knows the horrors they hide, and far into the future as Keir Bowman realises his destiny. Each takes their next step in life. None will ever go back to the same place. And so their journeys begin...show more

Rating details

2,496 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 27% (665)
4 33% (827)
3 27% (671)
2 9% (220)
1 5% (113)

Our customer reviews

I, like a lot of people probably, read this book in the conventional way - cover to cover, even though it quite clearly states that each quarter of the book can be read in any order and still make sense.For each quarter is its own story, loosely tied to each other by the symbol of a spiral. I'm glad I did read it cover to cover. It reminded me of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. Tales of witchcraft, the mentally insane, a cave girl from the beginnings of time to the futuristic account of a lonely spaceman aboard a ship seeking a new homeland. Imaginatively thought and creatively told. The Ghosts of Heaven is also an intelligent novel; it makes you think more than first realise and it will force you to carry on reading to discover the meaning of this never-ending spiral and why it means something to each of the quarter's protagonists. My particular favourite quarters were the second one which follows the story of young Anna who is struggling to cope with the death of her mother and look after her brother who is suffering from an as yet undiscovered ailment. It was richly told and instantly took me back to my love of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. I also fell in love with the third quarter, which is dark and captivating with its setting being a mental institution. And yet, even after closing the book, I'm left with an unnerving respect for the almost surreal writing of quarter four where everything (in my opinion) links together. I have admired Marcus Sedgwick for many years now, and I must say that The Ghosts of Heaven is his most ambitious novel to date. Not as popular as he should be, Sedgwick manages to hit all the right spots no matter what type of book he writes.show more
by Dan Thompson-Ball
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