When a little boy's family are murdered by the Man Jack, and he narrowly escapes this fate himself, the boy finds refuge in the local graveyard. Here, sensing the plight of this innocent child, the ghosts who inhabit the graveyard come to his rescue. Adopted by Mr and Mrs Owens, and both protected and tutored by guardian Silas, Nobody Owens – as he comes to be known, yet called Bod for short – grows up as a boy living in the world of the dead. All the while, Man Jack seeks the one family member to have evaded his blade.
This is a coming-of-age novel, set in a fantasy world where nothing can be taken for granted. Just like any boy, Bod is keen on exploring, has a deep thirst for knowledge, but of course he is being raised in a world where everything is turned upside down, where the abnormal is normal. And whilst he is happy with his new family, Bod naturally yearns for his own kind.
And that includes Jack.
A book about loss, friendship, love, growth, letting go, the living, the dead, and those stuck somewhere in between. Neil Gaiman, this is a thing of rare beauty.