Fourteen-year-old Bliss Inthemorningdew is dropped off at her grandmother’s home in Atlanta, Georgia, so her hippie parents can move to Canada to avoid President Nixon’s policies. It is 1969 and a confusing time—war, racism, and intolerance of differences abound. Bliss’s grandmother promptly enrolls her in the elite Crestview Academy. Innocent, open-minded Bliss, who was raised on a commune, has a hard time navigating through the cliques of high school. She befriends a group of girls who try to teach her the ropes at school, and she also forms a friendship with Sandy, the school’s social outcast. Bliss, being a bit different from other girls her age, feels that she should be friends with all and give everyone a chance.
As soon as Bliss sets foot on campus, she is plagued with hearing a blood-chilling voice of a girl from the past. The voice grows stronger and stronger and continues to invade Bliss’s thoughts. Sandy becomes obsessed with the death of a student, which happened on campus many years before. The tension and danger mount throughout the story, and Myracle does an excellent job of building a sense of foreboding from the opening pages to the powerful conclusion.
Each chapter starts with quotes from media and television at the time including the Andy Griffith Show and the Manson family murder trial. Interspersed throughout the book are eerie journal entries penned by an unknown author. Reminiscent of Stephen King’s Carrie, Bliss is a page turner that includes a mix of high school drama, teenage first love, and the occult, set against the backdrop of the South in turbulent 1969.