Twins, Emily and Michael are thirteen years old in the summer of 1925. They are privileged and bored. One day Emily discovers a new talent: she can make knocking sounds by moving her ankle just a little. The sound seems to come from everywhere. With this new talent, the twins decide to hold “Spirit knocking” gatherings with the neighborhood children. Soon they are performing for adults. As things progress, they learn many secrets from the adults in their lives and maybe a lesson along the way.
Michael is cynical for his age and very clever. It was his idea to use Emily’s knocking ability as a game to entertain other children but mostly to entertain himself. He dreams of a bigger world where he is important and life is fast and interesting. Mr. Randall seems to be the key to this if he can only persuade Emily that his plans are for the best.
Emily is an old soul and always has been. She finds the game interesting at first but mostly she yearns to help those in pain. When she isn’t “spirit knocking” her curiosity drives her to look in a secret drawer in her mother’s dresser. There she finds a photo album and begins to learn about her ancestors and eventually her mother’s secrets.
As Emily lived out those slow lazy summer days I felt that I was reliving my childhood. The curiosity that drives her is present in the hearts of all children. The adult’s pain and guilt seemed to surround the reader and draw them in. The mystery of life and the afterlife pushes this story into dark and haunting realms. This story encompasses innocence and maturity, secrets and truths about life. The story is compelling and suspenseful. A sophisticatedly written plot.
It is the summer of 1925. Emily Stewart and her brother, Michael, are thirteen-year-old twins—privileged, precocious, and wandering aimlessly around their family’s Philadelphia estate. One day Emily discovers an odd physical talent—she can secretly crack a joint in her ankle so the sound seems to burst in midair from nowhere. In their garden tea house, Emily and Michael gather the neighborhood children to fool them with these “spirit knockings.” But soon this game of contacting the dead creeps into a world of adults still reeling from a world war. And when the twins find themselves dabbling in the uncertain territory of human grief and family secrets, their game spins out of control…