Beyond Books

Picture the Dead

Picture the Dead
by Adele Griffin & Lisa Brown

A ghost will find his way home.

Jennie Lovell’s life is the very picture of love and loss. First she is orphaned and forced to live at the mercy of her stingy, indifferent relatives. Then her fiancé falls on the battlefield, leaving her heartbroken and alone. Jennie struggles to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, but is haunted by a mysterious figure that refuses to let her bury the past. (

Due to my personal life having been invaded by my silly notion to go back to school and learn something new, I became very behind on reading books that were sent to me for review. (Which is why I stopped accepting books late last year.) I received Picture the Dead from Sourcebooks last fall as part of the Halloween give-away I held for them. It was an awesome-looking book that I was VERY eager to read, but just couldn’t find the time or headspace to devote to it.

Well, after months of sitting on my dresser, taunting me with it’s potential awesomeness, I finally picked up this book and…

holy wow!

Not only is the writing wonderful, this whole book is like a piece of art that has come to life. Between each chapter you get a glimpse into Jennie’s scrapbook and journal. All the photos, letters, paper she mentions in the story come to life in these little scrap booky pages and I absolutely adored this about the book!

There’s a supernatural feel to the story, although I can’t say for sure that the ghosts and spirits were real or just tricks of the imagination. Just the whole historical, ghost story, love story feel to the book made me so happy. This book is simple and complex at the same time. The entire book is part of the experience from the book binding, to the words, to the artwork and even most especially – the SMELL. I don’t know if all copies of Picture the Dead smelled as great as mine did, but my copy had the BEST book smell! It made me think I was reading an old, historical book that I’d perhaps found in my grandparents’ basement. It wasn’t mildew or gross-smelling, it just had the best BOOK smell. Even my husband agreed. (And yes, I did make him smell the book while I was reading it. Ours is a true love. He GETS me.)

There really wasn’t anything I didn’t like with this book. Perhaps I’d have liked the other cover I have seen on Goodreads than the one I had (which is included in this post). The other cover I have seen has scrapbook-type photo art and I think that makes the book look even more like it does inside.

I am so happy I got a chance to discover this story because it was fabulous and imaginative and haunting and so wonderful. This is a book I will be keeping in my house no matter how many times I (attempt to) trim down my book collection. 😉


  • Charlotte

    I put this on my list when it first came out, and (sadness) there it sits still…if only I didn’t have so many physical books crying for me to read them, I’d bump it up the queue after reading your thoughts!

  • darla d

    I like your cover way better than the one that was on mine. This was a fun one – my only issue was my aging eyes had a little difficulty with the print on the scrapbook items. I know, I know! It’s a teen novel. But still, it made me a little sad…

  • Susan

    This sounds really interesting, Cat. I’m going to see if my library has it. Thanks for the review, it’s one I haven’t come across yet. Ghost stories are always in fashion…..

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