“We are restless people by nature. We roam, from one house to another, one city to the next. There is a limit to how long we can stay somewhere before people start to notice,”(Moore 13).
Seventeen-year-old Pieta, or as she’s called Pie, is invisible. Not in the metaphorical sense, but really truly invisible. She is a soap bubble, ice, a girl of glass seen through by everyone and her mother is the same. In fact, it’s just been Pie and her mother for her entire life, sleeping on trains and living in a variety of homes: from the great outdoors to mansions with rooms upon rooms that the occupants never visit, travelling across the world finding a place for themselves if only for a little while. It’s a lonely existence, and Pie wants more. But just as they are entering Pittsburgh Pie’s mother disappears right before her eyes, invisible becoming more invisible and Pie must try to navigate the world without her while trying to find her.
I don’t think I’ve ever read about an invisible character and I Am the Ghost In Your House offered such an interesting concept of it, but it dragged. Pie was an intriguing character, an invisible teen who’s never had any connection to anyone except her own mother. She’s lonely, and Moore does an excellent job communicating that loneliness to reader’s as well as the interesting life Pie has lived living in mansions and the many places she has seen around the States. It’s harder to feel sympathy for her parents who seem to use or just grow tired of being around her. Now I will say that Pie’s mother is a traumatized individual, which explains her behaviour but definitely doesn’t excuse it.
It’s a beautifully written book, but a touch too long. The main storyline takes place at around three days or less, but is interspersed with short chapters of Pie reminiscing about her travels, which is again interesting but unneeded. Many of these chapters could have been cut or shortened and mentioned in other sections. It just stretched everything out so much longer than it needed to be, and considering this book has very little action to begin with I found myself just wishing for it to end.
Also, this is categorized as horror, but I didn’t find it scary. Maybe that’s just me since a lot of the horror I read usually goes to extremes, but I definitely wouldn’t categorize this as horror.
The invisibility of Pie was probably the strongest thing about this book, down to the details of how she navigates throughout the world and how inanimate objects react to her invisibility. While it isn’t explicitly clear as to how a person becomes invisible, there are certain theories thrown around by Moore. With Pie’s mother it’s a trauma response, and this ends up acting as an incredible metaphor for generational trauma. Since Pie’s mother’s invisibility is result of a trauma response, Pie is born invisible and into a way of life that she’s ever known, that she never had a choice in becoming. She literally inherits her mother’s trauma response and is raised to survive by a mother who, through flashbacks, is shown to be suffering greatly mentally from her past. Moore achieved this absolutely brilliantly, and I wish the book had been as clever as this theme was.
I Am The Ghost In Your House offers an interesting look at invisibility but makes for an ultimately boring story. I believe that if the theme of generational trauma had been explored more this would have made for a strong book, but unfortunately, it’s lack of a strong message made this book as invisible as it’s protagonist.
Publication: April 19th 2022
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 432 pages (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Romance, LGTBQ+
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤
Pie is the ghost in your house.
She is not dead, she is invisible.
The way she looks changes depending on what is behind her. A girl of glass. A girl who is a window. If she stands in front of floral wallpaper she is full of roses.
For Pie’s entire life it’s been Pie and her mother. Just the two of them, traveling across America. They have slept in trains, in mattress stores, and on the bare ground. They have probably slept in your house.
But Pie is lonely. And now, at seventeen, her mother’s given her a gift. The choice of the next city they will go to. And Pie knows exactly where she wants to go. Pittsburgh—where she fell in love with a girl who she plans to find once again. And this time she will reveal herself.
Only how can anyone love an invisible girl?
A magnificent story of love, and friendship, and learning to see yourself in a world based on appearances, I Am the Ghost in Your House is a brilliant reflection on the importance of how much more there is to our world than what meets the eye.