Hannah Barnes is a bit different than the average twelve-year-old. What makes her different is her best friend is a young ghost named, Lilah, that lives in the old mansion that the Barnes family moved into in Fraser, Georgia. You see, Hannah and her family are originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. While still living there, Hannah's Dad did some office repair work for a gentleman named, Bill Richardson. He liked his work so much he offered him a major renovation job in Georgia where his family's mansion still stands. Though now the place is just barely standing. The agreement was that Hannah's family could live rent free in the mansion while the repairs were being done. But Mr. Richardson never mentioned anything about a ghost also living there. Now Hannah's family understands why Mr. Richardson couldn't keep a tenant for more than a month's time in the ten years he has owned the place.
Since Lilah gets Hannah in trouble with her parents all the time doing silly things, Hannah can't help her dad do any jobs around the mansion, something she always used to do with him on other jobs. He's been spooked too many times by Lilah's jokes. Poor Mrs. Barnes had to take a full-time legal secretary position in town just to give her a few hours away from the creepiness of the mansion. So, since it's summer vacation, Hannah had nothing better to do then to hang out with Lilah.
Hannah would ask Lilah all kinds of questions trying to get to know her better. Unfortunately, Lilah couldn't remember much of anything except her first name and some odd facts here and there about herself. This frustrated Hannah very much. It wasn't the only thing that frustrated her though. The annual Sweet Pea Festival was happening the following week and Hannah really wanted to go, that is to go with her best friend, but her best friend was a ghost. She knew she could still go with her Mom, but it wouldn't be the same.
While talking together one day, Hannah asked Lilah if she had ever gone to the festival. She told her that she had once when she was ten-years-old. She went with her parents and her little brother. She wondered why Hannah was so curious about the festival. Hannah told her that the festival was next week and she was hoping that Lilah would go with her and her mother. Her best friend told her that she couldn't because it seemed she couldn't go past the gate of the mansion because whenever she had tried, all her energy would get drained from her and she had a terrible time moving. Hannah really didn't understand why that happened whenever Lilah tried, but being the best friend that she was, she gave her friend a sympathetic expression anyway.
Hannah wouldn't give up on asking Lilah more questions because she wanted to get to the bottom as to why she had been here for so long. She asked her if she had seen the Light when she died and why didn't she walk toward it. Lilah told her that she had indeed seen the Light, but since her little brother was terrified and only six-years-old, she stayed behind to take care of him in the Spirit World. She continued explaining that she knew her little brother never meant to push her down the stairs. It was just a terrible accident, but he no longer lived there anymore and she didn't know where he was. She was so lost without him.
The following week, Hannah went to the Sweet Pea Festival with her mom and they had everything there from a petting zoo to hayrides to regular fair rides and food. The best part of it all was the corn maze. Hannah's Mom sat on a nearby bench while Hannah walked the maze. At first she thought it was going to be easy, but when she kept making wrong turns, she realized it was a lot harder to do than she first thought. She happened to finally come across the scarecrow, which signaled that she had made it to the center of the maze. While taking a few minutes rest because of the heat, she couldn't believe her eyes and ears. The scarecrow started talking to
Twelve-year-old Hannah Barnes is just like all the other girls in her small Georgia town, except for one little detail. Hannah's best friend-make that her only friend-is a ghost. When the annual Sweet Pea Festival arrives, Hannah discovers the secret to freeing Lilah from her earthly bondage. Hannah has a decision to make. Will she help Lilah move on, or will she hold on to her best friend?