The Hungry Ghost by H.S. Norup
Publisher: Pushkin Children’s Books
Published September 28th 2021
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*
Freja arrives in Singapore during the month of the hungry ghost, when old spirits are said to roam the streets and families must make offerings to appease their ancestors. She’s homesick for her Danish hometown and isn’t sure she fits in with the ‘happy family’ of her father, her step-mother and twin step-brothers.
As Freja tries to settle into her new life, a mysterious girl in a white dress starts to appear to her, seeming to beckon her on. Following this figure, Freja begins to unravel an old family mystery – one that must be solved before the month is over, to allow both girls to be freed from secrets long-buried.
Freja moves to Singapore to live with her dad and stepmom for some time while her mom gets better. The seventh month is the month of the Hungry Ghost, and this is when she comes to meet Ling, a young girl lost, with no recollection of who she is other than some small flashbacks of someone looking like Freja’s father. Freja tries to help her remember, trying to see the connection between the two. But Ling might not be the only one needing remembering.
This was such a beautifully vivid story! I’ve never been to Singapore but this makes it seem something short of magical. It’s beautifully described and it felt like I was there with Freja.
I loved getting to know Freja and adventuring with her into the wild while helping Ling. I loved how the story developed and how much they did to make Ling remember. Freja is an amazing researcher and I love how she does everything with a big heart. She is cautious and intelligent but with no regard for trouble. Nothing can stop her from helping her new friend! I loved their friendship. As well as the new friends Freja makes at school that turn out to be really great.
But above all I loved Freja’s family and how much Clementine tried to make her a part of the family and wanting to get her involved. It was difficult for Freja in the beginning, like everything is, but I loved how much more of a family they came to be by the end.
This is a stunning book full of vivid descriptions that got me to learn more of Singapore and their customs and beliefs. It totally touched my heart and even made me cry a tiny bit. It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!
What did you think of it? Have you read it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!