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Ghost Girl by Helena McEwen

Ghost Girl

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A lyrical novel of two teenage sisters at either end of the age scale as they experience the highs and lows of adolescence in 70âs London.

Comparison: Helen Dunmore, Julie Myerson, Esther Freud.
Similar this month: None but try Joshilyn Jackson, Nicky Pellegrino.

If you like Helena McEwen you might also like to read books by Helen Dunmore, Esther Freud and Julie Myerson.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Ghost Girl by Helena McEwen

A poignant novel about a teenage girl finding herself set in 70s London

Thirteen-year-old Cath is a new girl at a Catholic convent. She is afraid of the nuns, unused to the restriction and terrified of God. She finds refuge in nature, and her friend Oliveâs vision of the starry limitless universe.

Cathâs sister Very is at art school in seventies Punk London. She lives a wild chaotic life with bedraggled artists, outrageous homosexuals, and shadowy nightclub owners. When Cath visits Very, the two sisters whirl through the city together, along Chelsea Embankment and through the alleys of late-night Soho. But London, like the convent, holds its dangers and Cath must find her own way through.


McEwen captures the impressionability of youth, as well as the visceral nature of emotions which have yet to be dulled by experience … This seductive lyricism transforms the everyday into something exquisite, yet at the same time successfully evokes the threatening darkness of an inscrutable adult world. Compellingly written, this is a sensitive depiction of the trials and tribulations of growing upâ Anna Scott, Time Out

‘She portrays a young girlâs development with sensitivity and insightâ Independent on Sunday

‘Frequently moving and finally as haunting as its title suggestsâ Mail on Sunday

About the Author

Helena McEwen
Helena McEwen grew up in Scotland and lives in London. She trained as a painter at Camberwell and Chelsea art schools and has mounted several exhibitions of her paintings. Her debut novel, The Big House, was first published in 1999. Her second, Ghost Girl, follows a thirteen-year-old girl to a convent boarding school in the English countryside.

Photograph © Mark Pringle

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Book Info

Publication date

15th August 2005


Helena McEwen

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Bloomsbury Publishing Plc


256 pages


Literary Fiction
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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