Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Revenant by Sonia Gensler

Book Summer (Via Goodreads): When Willie arrives in Indian Territory, she knows only one thing: no one can find out who she really is. To escape a home she doesn't belong in anymore, she assumes the name of a former classmate and accepts a teaching job at the Cherokee Female Seminary.

Nothing prepares her for what she finds there. Her pupils are the daughters of the Cherokee elite—educated and more wealthy than she, and the school is cloaked in mystery. A student drowned in the river last year, and the girls whisper that she was killed by a jealous lover. Willie's room is the very room the dead girl slept in. The students say her spirit haunts it.

Willie doesn't believe in ghosts, but when strange things start happening at the school, she isn't sure anymore. She's also not sure what to make of a boy from the nearby boys' school who has taken an interest in her—his past is cloaked in secrets. Soon, even she has to admit that the revenant may be trying to tell her something. . . .

Book Trailer:

Book Review:
This was a surprising tale of love, death, mystery, and tragedy. Set in 1896, this historical fiction piece offers a refreshing take on life for privileged Cherokee children. The setting of this book really added something special to the story. Gensler certainly did her research. The school itself is based on an original Cherokee boarding school, which is now the home of Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The mystery plot of the dead girl's ghost is also fantastic and eerie, very, very eerie. This story gave me goosebumps. If I knew better, I would have set the book down before bed, but I couldn't help myself. It was easy to get lost in this story. I loved the main character, Willie. She really struggled to find herself in an unfamiliar setting. She was flawed, and engaging. It was easy to relate to her. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and anticipate more wonderful stories from Sonia Gensler. Check out her website and blog for more info!

Favorite Quote:
"But Papa was dead, and the space next to me was empty. Staring at that void, I knew in my heart I was something much worse than a player on the world's stage/ And more than the summer heat made the perspiration trickle down the back of my neck. I jumped and blushed and perspired for good reason. I was a liar and a thief." (p.3)

Cover Art Commentary:
I love the water theme! It has a very significant meaning to the story, and is also beautiful. I love that if you just look at the picture, it's really pretty, peaceful even. Then you read the subheading, "some secrets  wont stay buried" and suddenly you're hooked! There's something sinister beyond the beauty and the only way to discover it is to read the story! Clever!



  1. I'm fascinated by these old boarding schools. Great review. :)

  2. Like Juju, I too am fascinated by old boarding school stories! There's something so eerie and intriguing about them! This one looks great.

  3. I bought this book way back when it came out (okay, that wasn't THAT long ago I guess ;) but I still haven't read it! Your review has me wanting to go down and start it RIGHT NOW! And if it wasn't night time I might. But luckily you warned me so I won't do that. But I may have to take a break from all these contemporary books and fit it in. It just sounds amazing!