Seeing Ghosts | Sing, Unburied, Sing | A Review

After finishing my English Language and Literature degree I had no idea what to read. As a kid I read Jacqueline Wilson and Cathy Cassidy before reading Twilight and Supernatural books as a teenager (yes, really). As an English Student I had large reading lists and so didn’t have time to read what I wanted to.

It wasn’t until I started this blog and received review copies and then working as a bookseller did I finally start reading something different and a new genre to me. This included.


An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing examines the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power – and limitations – of family bonds. 

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. His mother, Leonie, is in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is black and her children’s father is white. Embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances, she wants to be a better mother, but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. 

When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love. 

Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first century America. It is a majestic new work from an extraordinary and singular author.

Netgalley Review

I found this quite a hard read, especially the beginning, but the story gripped me and I was intrigued with what happened and what was happening and where it would all lead. A powerful book.

Star Review – 3 Stars

I initially gave this book a two star, primarily because reading it felt like a punch in the gut. But it’s written so very well and is so powerful, that it deserves more. On Twitter I wrote that I struggled to read the book, primarily because of the themes. But it was a hard to put down book, even though it made me feel uncomfortable at times.

I’d heard good things of this book and I also liked the fact that it was a short book. The book reminded me a bit like a ghost story, the kind of stories that were told to children in the hopes that they’d learn from them and do good – much like the character in the book.

If, like me, you read a lot of varied stuff, then do add this to your TBR – if you want something different or something with a bit of shock factor, then this is a book for you. Or if you wanna read something which has been highly recommended by a bunch of people – then again, this book ticks all the boxes!

As always, let me know in the comments below if you’ve read the book and what you thought of it. And if you haven’t, will you be adding it to your TBR?


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