Ophelia Gallaway has inherited her grandmother’s eyes—and her memories. I like this opening
It’s the summer of 1910. Ophelia, a meek girl who often feels more ghost than human, stumbles upon a knife in her family’s wood. She endeavors to push it out of thought This might be me, but the phrase "out of thought" seems a bit strange, even with visions of her late grandmother’s past haunting her every waking moment. Again, might be me, but the "even" connecting these two sentences is drawing a connection that doesn't quite make sense to me. It sounds as if her visions of her late grandmother's past are preventing her from forgetting the knife, but later it's revealed that she didn't think the knife was a big deal.
Ophelia’s young life is thrown asunder when Mrs. Gallaway, a cruel shadow of the kind-hearted mother Ophelia once loved Upon first read, I was briefly thought Mrs. Gallaway was a stepmother or nanny or even a ghost of her mother, rather than her real mother who has changed. I think it's the word shadow, which my mind is drawing into connection with the ghost aspect of your story, arranges a courtship between Ophelia and a brash boy named Silas Foster. It’s a poor match,
so the newspapers say. But Ophelia is determined to prove herself to her mother—even if it means being courted by a stranger.
Soon after, a long-buried history comes surging back in ways most puzzling: unearthed letters, clandestine conversation, and a series of ominous visions. But these mysteries are made all the more baffling by a confessed secret—her grandparents committed suicide. The knife she discovered is no longer simply a knife. It’s a suicide weapon.
Though still uncertain, Ophelia becomes more driven than ever to prove herself to a society that has banished the Gallaway name for decades. In a stroke of good fortune,
it seems, I would cut this out - we find out pretty quick that it might not actually be good fortune she and Silas grow closer. And she wants nothing more—that is, until she discovers the answers to their linked past: that perhaps Silas Foster is not all he seems to be, that he may have something to do with her grandparents’ suicides…and her own impending death. The linking of this sentence could be handled better... you could take probably take out "that perhaps Silas Foster is not all he seems to be", because it's pretty general and common, and the second 'that he...' is so much more intriguing
A BURIAL FOR GHOSTS, a young adult historical fiction novel, is complete at approximately 97,000 words.
I’m an alumna of the National English Honor Society and am currently pursuing an English degree. I was born and raised in Florida, where I escaped the doldrums of suburbia Great phrase! through my passion for writing and reading Super minor, but the phrase flows slightly better as "reading and writing", I think. If you’re interested in learning a little bit more about me, you can find me at [insert url for my website here].
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I really like this; I get a sense of the world and characters quite well. It's a strong letter and the book sounds as if it has a lot of great twists and subplots. Best of luck to you.