A Skinful of Shadows
It is the reign of Charles I of England, and Makepeace and her mother, Margaret, live in the Puritan town of Poplar. Husbandless and fatherless, the two are maligned in both the community and the family home. But things get particularly bad for Makepeace when the nightmares begin. Margaret knows this is a sign that the dead are reaching for her child, and she forces Makepeace to spend nights in the cemetery chapel. "The dead are like drowners," Margaret tells the girl. "They are flailing in darkness, trying to grab whatever they can. They may not mean to harm you, but they will." Night after night, Makepeace is attacked by the dead until she learns how to build defenses against their invasions. Not long after, Margaret is killed and Makepeace seeks out her mysterious roots, learning too late the horror that was her mother's past and why she fled her home in the first place.
As with every Hardinge novel (A Face Like Glass; The Lie Tree), A Skinful of Shadows is outlandishly creative and thoroughly blood-chilling. Her storytelling is visceral and unfurls at an exciting pace, making this novel a wonderful, weird and terrifying addition to her body of work. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness