The Girl Who Came Back to Life: A Fairytale - Craig Staufenberg

*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.


When Sophie’s parents die, she’s left an orphan at the young age of 12. While her distant grandmother takes her in it’s up to Sophie to make the trip to the North, to the City of the Dead to release their spirits to the next world. Sophie has no idea how she’ll travel such a distance, but her grandmother needs to go to release her husband, so they travel together. It’s a long perilous journey, one many don’t return from. Sophie wants to go only to bring her parents back, but is that even an option or a young girl’s desperate hope to put things back the way they were? Will Sophie even survive the journey? We’re about to find out.


Sophie has been raised isolated and in a pretty much emotionless atmosphere. When her parents die and she has to live with a grandmother who appears not to care about her, Sophie decides she needs to go to the City of the Dead, not to release her parents spirits, but to bring them back so her life can go back to normal. Her grandmother needs to go to release her husband and tells Sophie they can travel together if she earns the money to go. After some searching Sophie lands a job at the bakery. When she earns the money to go they depart in the Spring when the roads are clear of ice. The journey is insanely long and dangerous. I was wondering why anyone would travel the distance when the possibility of getting there alive was slim and getting back alive even less so. An old woman and a 12-yr-old making the trip boggled my mind. Personally, I would have said screw that. The spirits could take care of themselves.


This is a well-written story told from Sophie’s POV and while she is a 12-yr-old with some funny kid-type ideas, she’s also a bit more mature than her age in some ways. Her journey really shapes her that’s for sure. The City of the Dead confused me. I’m not exactly sure what went on there. It has that kind of abstract stuff I do not excel at figuring out. Anyway, I enjoyed Sophie’s journey much more. She has quite the adventure and it’s not always pleasant. All-in-all a great coming of age kind of tale.