by John Harwood
Mariner Books, 2005
Literary Mystery/Gothic Suspense
Summary in a Sentence (or two):
Haunted by his mother's mysterious death, timid, solitary Gerard Freeman lives for two things: his elusive pen pal and the secret manuscript that his mother gave her life to protect. Suspecting that something within that manuscript holds the key to his mother's refusal to return to her childhood home, Gerard sets out to unveil the mystery shrouding his family.
You know that book you have to carry with you and read as you walk around your house, bumping your shins on coffee tables? That book you can't tear your eyes away from while eating so you accidentally dump lasagna down your chin, and you don't really care? The Ghost Writer is that kind of book. I read incessantly, stopping only for work, sleep, and any other sort of thing that gets in the way of finishing a great book.
All the elements are here: This book is a creepily Gothic, cozily Victorian story within a story, including one of the most frightening scenes ever to take place in a library. It all begins when Gerard finds a ghost story written by his grandmother Viola while snooping through his mother's room. Interspersed throughout Gerard's narrative set in present time are Viola's short stories, which I found to be my favorite part of the book.
Then, I reached the ending. I won't write anything spoiler-ish here for those of you who haven't read the book, because I think you will enjoy it immensely. I just don't think Harwood quite knew how to finish the dang thing. Regardless, I can't wait to read Harwood's next one, The Seance.
~ Read for the Bibliophilic Books Challenge ~