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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Peril the Second: Read 2 books.. (one of two)

The Ghost Writer by John Harwood

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Harvest Books (June 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0156032325

From Publishers Weekly
Sly nods to spooky literary spinsters—Henry James's Miss Jessel and Dickens's Miss Havisham—set the tone for this confident debut, a gothic suspense novel with a metatextual spin. Gerard Freeman grows up on the windswept southern coast of Australia in the late 20th century with a controlling mother strangely silent about the details of her childhood in England. His only solace is steadfast English pen friend, Alice, to whom he confides everything. What was Gerard's mother, Phyllis, hoping to escape when she left England? The protagonist slowly pieces together his mother's past with the aid of short stories written by his great-grandmother, Viola. These cunning tales, filled with supernatural occurrences and séances, are seamlessly embedded in the main narrative, offering Gerard—and readers—enticing clues into his troubled family's history. After Phyllis's death, her newly liberated son travels to England, hoping to learn more and to pursue elusive Alice. As he searches through the country house his mother inhabited long ago, Gerard finds past and present fusing in horrifying fashion. In the hands of a lesser novelist, sustaining several plot lines might have been difficult. But the novel links textual investigation and sublimated passion, building to a satisfying, unexpected ending.

Ok, so.. remember who is writing this.. me! This is "me outside of my comfort zone".. this whole RIP challenge is outside my comfort zone.. but each year I have enjoyed, at least, some of the books I have read.

So far this year I reread The Thirteenth Tale (and loved it a second time), read The House at Riverton (that was ok but still a bit of a disappointment), read Braum Stoker's Dracula (liked the writing and the style but found it a bit boring) and lastly read, The Historian (this one may have had a touch "too much history" for my liking, but I did enjoy the book very much)

Which brings me to the new Peril to read 2 more books..

The Ghost Writer, by John Harwood... ok so... overall, I liked it. I very much enjoyed the story of Gerard and his finding out about his family history. Yes, that part I enjoyed very much.

I was not thrilled with the "stories" in between though... it bothered me to be deep into discovering something about Gerard and his family only to be torn away to read a story written by "grandma"..

I know it's me.. you have to lead me into something gently and unknowingly, if you tear me away from something I am enjoying into something that (at the time) has nothing to do with the initial story.. well.. it makes me want to skip over it! And I will not lie.. I did a bit of skipping! The funny thing is.. it didn't seem to hurt the initial story at all ! And that initial story.. well.. it's a good one! I think many will like this book more than I did. I think John Harwood put the "spook" in "spookey" when it comes to ghost stories!

I am not saying I didn't enjoy the book.. just that there were parts I wasn't thrilled with.. (remember this is not in my comfort zone!) but as for the rest of it, I had a hard time putting it down.

Bottom line is: Carl suggested a good read, I was very caught up in Gerards story... and Alice. (insert Twilight Zone music here !)


Blogger animewookie said...

I'm not very fond of going outside my comfort zone. It's very cozy
So Kudos to you :D

8:27 AM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

The short stories thing, Neil Gaiman does it in American Gods and it works, but I can totally see how being constantly pulled away from the main narrative to read a short story could become very frustrating.

Anyway...this sounds like something I'd enjoy. I was going to add it to my wishlist but it turns out that it's already there :P

9:39 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

animewookie: I am reluctant to leave that cozy area too but have discovered some really good reads this way!

Nymeth: oh.. like do you really think I am surprised that this is alread on your wishllist?? LOL.. Not! hahahaha I feel sure you will like this book.. I was soooo into the main part of the story that I didn't want to be torn away for no matter how short a time lol..

9:54 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

I keep reading about this author - this book and another one I think - so am clearly destined to go completely broke... er go and investigate I mean. *cough*

7:30 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

cath: I first heard of it from Carl. now I am on to Rebecca...

8:23 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

Sounds like something I would like. Now if only there was more time in a day to read!

12:37 AM  
Blogger Framed said...

It sounds like you liked it a little. I remember so little about it even though I read it last year, but I know I didn't care for it.

10:53 PM  

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