Through Her Eyes
The last place Tansy Piper wants to be is stuck in Cedar Canyon, Texas, in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of small-town kids. But when her mother decides to move to the desolate West Texas town, Tansy has no choice but to go along. Once there, Tansy is immediately drawn to the turret of their rickety old house, a place she soon learns has a disturbing history. But it's the strange artifacts she finds in the cellar—a pocket watch, a journal of poetry, and a tiny crystal—that have the most chilling impact on her.
Tansy soon finds that through the lens of her camera, she can become part of a surreal black-and-white world where her life is intertwined with that of mysterious, troubled Henry, who lived in the same house and died decades earlier. It seems their lives are linked by fate and the artifacts she found, but as Tansy begins spending more and more time in the past, her present world starts to fade away. Tansy must untangle herself from Henry's dangerous reality—before she loses touch with her own life forever.
Tansy was an intriguing main character. Towed constantly from state to state by her mother, Tansy is often left feeling like an outsider. All she longs for is a place to put down some roots, and actually find something meaningful. What I loved most about Tansy was her devout loyalty to her grandfather, and the way that she was so real. I mean that Tansy isn't perfect. She whines, she complains, she has thoughts of feeling outcast and lost. However it is all those thing that really made me fall in love with her. Tansy feels like a real person, almost like a friend that you're meeting for the first time.
That being said, Jennifer Archer definitely has a knack for writing descriptive and interesting characters. Each character who comes in contact with Tansy is utterly engrossing. Bethyl Anne, for instance, is quite different than most characters I've ever met. Two years younger than her fellow classmates, and obsessed with quoting Shakespeare, Bethyl Anne is also an outcast. However she handles her status much differently than Tansy. There is an air about her that shows her strength and a deep understanding of her life. It is through her that Tansy begins to see that feeling sorry for herself won't get her anywhere. Truthfully Bethyl Anne is one of my new favorite characters. There are others, like the smoldering Tate, but I won't delve too far. I'll let you discover that for yourself!
In terms of plot, some may find it a bit slow at the beginning. This is because Tansy is so deeply set into her isolation that the beginning of the story is mainly inner monologue. However as the story progresses, and Tansy breaks out of her shell, it also definitely picks up in speed. The ghost story aspect provides a unique twist, and the two time periods are woven together so seamlessly that sometimes I forgot where I was at the moment. Through Her Eyes is absolutely the most stunning book that I have read in a long time.
Ultimately, I fell so in love with this book that I can't give it any less than my highest recommendation. Expertly written characters, seamless plot writing and a gorgeously isolated setting make this book something special. I can only hope that you'll love it as much as I did.