Twists and turns run rampant in Ghosts of Harvard, a book by Francesca Serritella. The book can’t decide if it’s a mystery, a ghost story, or a teaching tool. Despite a few flaws, I decided it was, in the end, just a good book to read during a quarantine.
Cady Archer can’t come to grips with the fact that her brilliant, but schizophrenic, brother killed himself while attending Harvard University. Against her parents’ wishes, she elects to attend the prestigious university to find out first hand what drove her brother to jump out his dorm window to his death. Armed with her brother’s notebook that contains his thoughts and unexplained and indecipherable numbers, she sets out to find the answers to her questions.
But before long, Cady begins hearing the same voices that haunted her brother. Is she also schizophrenic or are there actually ghosts that haunt the Harvard campus? The ghosts, however, don’t slow her down, and she doesn’t give up until she solves the puzzle. She nearly loses her life in the process.
I learned a bit about schizophrenia and what it can do to a person’s life. And not just the person suffering with the disease, but the entire family. I also learned a lot about what life is like at a prestigious and very challenging university with lots of history, both good and bad.
It’s true that some of the book made me roll my eyes. I struggled a bit with the Cady, who is the main character. Perhaps it’s because I am a mother, but I really, really wanted her to stop skipping classes and not studying for tests. But it wasn’t a book that I was interested in abandoning. And I’m glad I finished it, because the ending caught me by surprise.
Ghosts of Harvard served its purpose in providing a break from some difficult times.