The Seer of Shadows
The time is 1872. The place is New York City. Horace Carpetine has been raised to believe in science and rationality. So as apprentice to Enoch Middleditch, a society photographer, he thinks of his trade as a scientific art. But when wealthy society matron Mrs. Frederick Von Macht orders a photographic portrait, strange things begin to happen.
Horace's first real photographs reveal a frightful likeness: it's the image of the Von Machts' dead daughter, Eleanora.
Pegg, the Von Machts' black servant girl, then leads him to the truth about who Eleanora "really" was and how she actually died. Joined in friendship, Pegg and Horace soon realize that his photographs are evoking both Eleanora's image and her ghost. Eleanora returns, a vengeful wraith intent on punishing those who abused her.
Rich in detail, full of the magic of early photography, here is a story about the shadows, visible and invisible, that are always lurking near.
Horace Carpetine is a fourteen-year-old who lives in 1872 and plans on being a world-renowned photographer when he grows up. He is apprenticed to Mr. Enoch Middleditch, a cunning, shrewd man who is in it for the money.
Horace is apprentice to a photographer in New York City in 1872. He is fascinated with photography and enjoys his job even though he doesn't think much of his boss. His opinion of his boss sinks really low when he decides to insert a ghostly image into a client's portrait to make her think her daughter's spirit is close by. The boss reckons this will drum up a lot of business, but Horace feels it is too dishonest. There is more to the client's family than meets the eye, however, and Horace finds himself entangled in the Von Macht family's business when he befriends of their servants. He also begins to see real ghosts and worries if he is the one bringing them into this world.
This book is mostly historical fiction with a ghost plot. The Von Macht's secret is well drawn out through the book and is an interesting start to Horace's friendship with their servant. The ghost plot is not overwhelming and is just creepy enough to give a few shivers. Post-Civil War New York is well-established, but I felt like it could have used a few more touches to make it seem more real for readers. Overall though, it's a great read for someone looking for historical fiction.