It was 1952 when Rose Marshall was killed on Sparrow Hill Road on her way to the prom. She was only sixteen. The circumstances of her death left her a hitcher, a ghost forced to roam the roads in search for rides.
The Phantom Prom Date who murders those who offer her a ride. The Ghost of Sparrow Hill Road whose date died alongside her. The Girl From the Diner who is an omen of bad things to come… for generations her story has been passed on, becoming twisted into a legend that barely resembles the once real story. But Rose herself isn’t a harbinger of doom. Instead, she can tell when an accident is on the horizon and can sometimes save someone who would otherwise die. In other cases, she helps those who have passed on get to their final destination.
In 2010 Seanan McGuire released a dozen Rose Marshall stories through the ezine The Edge of Propinquity. While the mag does still have a few stories in its archives, including McGuire’s “Good Girls Go To Heaven,” the rest have been collected here in the author’s latest release.
This is a story most readers probably know in one form or another, but McGuire expands it and gives it a depth that the word-of-mouth urban legend never could. What’s more, she’s placed the story smack dab in the middle of an urban fantasy world populated with some of the most unusual characters I’ve ever seen: routewitches, trainspotters, crossroads and dead highways, strigoi who don’t suck blood, and a bevy of ghosts ranging from the hitchhikers to maggy dhu (ghost dogs who collect souls).
Sparrow Hill Road is a ghost story, a love story, a horror story, and a story of the road.
09/14 Becky LeJeune
SPARROW HILL ROAD by Seanan McGuire. DAW Trade (May 6, 2014). ISBN 978-0756409616. 320p.