From the first page of this original novel, when Frances Frida Ripley, aka Frankie, recounts the tale of her dramatic birth, readers will be drawn into a story full of feeling, black humour, and constant, surprising changes of direction. Frankie was born on a beach in the middle of a storm and, according to her parents, has been raging ever since. So when a terrifying natural disaster wipes out Frankie’s whole town, including Frankie and her family, it seems inevitable that Frankie will carry on raging, refuse to follow the accepted death protocols and enter a new existence as a poltergeist, the angriest type of ghost there is.
When Frankie wakes up one hundred years after the tsunami to find her home invaded by tourists her anger begins to stir and is captured by an unscrupulous and cruel ghost hunter who uses his son to trap Frankie and other ghosts into working on his ghost train. It is only when Frankie learns to harness her strong emotions in a positive way, combining anger with love and compassion, that she is able to set the other ghosts and her friend, Scanlon, who is also exploited by his manipulative father, free and join her beloved family.
This is an original, astonishing, and gripping novel that is hard to categorise. It has an unforgettable and feisty central character in Frankie, and it deals with dark themes of loss, grief, and anger in a blackly humorous way. The cover, inside illustrations and use of large, bold page-filling fonts to express feelings work very well with the text to capture attention. This is not a novel for the faint-hearted, but it is poignant, funny, and unexpected and, importantly, it allows its complex central character to experience strong emotions and to express them and set them free. All in all, a powerful, thought-provoking, and empowering book for 9+ readers.