Last weekend I went to Flagler Beach where I met some talented authors at Change Jar Books. One of the books I picked up was Food for a Hungry Ghost by Becky Meyer Pourchot. I had the opportunity to read this ghost story while overnighting at a hotel in The Nation’s Oldest City, St. Augustine, which was the perfect ambiance for such a read. Tuesday night, I also went to an Inspired Mic where I heard this author read the best story of the night. She’s not only an exceptional author, but a great actress, as well. After reading Food for a Hungry Ghost, I knew I needed the other two in the series. You can read about Becky’s femme fatale in Path of a Bullet, an anthology of short stories about Ike, Tim Baker’s iconic off-white Knight.
Food for a Hungry Ghost is a well-written introduction to the paranormal realm for pre-teens and teens. Not often enough do I find youth fiction that suspends disbelief while keeping it real enough and done with a writing style appropriate to the age group. Becky Pourchot writes intelligent dialog and narrative with realistic voice and language.
Gala, a fourteen year old girl who moves from Wisconsin to Florida, becomes a conduit for a restless soul that knows no limits, no boundaries. The ghost seems harmless enough at first, even laughable, but quickly evolves into a menace. Gala struggles with right and wrong, while trying to adjust to a new home and new people in her life. The author shows the feelings and emotions of teen girls and guys, the angst of adolescence and the insecurities we have all had to overcome in order to grow. It’s a universal coming-of-age story with a creatively unique flair that pre-teens, teens and adults can enjoy.
The character personalities in this quick, easy read are well-developed. I liked that it was not blood and gore horror. Fascinated by the metaphysical, I would have liked to have seen that aspect of the storyline extended and explored a little deeper, the origin of Gala’s gift. Without spoilers, I’ll say Pourchot’s ability to touch on sensitive issues in a direct but thoughtful manner is remarkable. Book two in the series, “To Kiss a Ghost”, is thicker and I’m eager to learn more about these Flagler Beach residents in the Hungry Ghost series.