It's time for my monthly book review hosted by The Cephalopod Coffeehouse over at http://armchairsquid.blogspot.com/?m=1
For October I decided to review The Ghost Writer by John Harwood. It wasn't the best book I read this month, although there really weren't any standouts. Since tomorrow is Halloween I thought that a horror novel would be appropriate.
Well. This book was definitely creepy in parts. It's the story of a young boy named Gerard growing up in Australia whose mother had immigrated from England before he was born. Her early life is a mystery, and she refuses to tell him much of anything about her past. He sneaks a look inside a locked drawer one day and discovers a photograph of his great grandmother, who wrote and published ghost stories in the 1890's. His mother goes absolutely mad with rage when she finds him going through the drawer but still won't tell him anything about why there's the need for such secrecy. Shortly afterwards, a mysterious young girl named Alice writes to him and wants to become pen pals. Then things get really weird....
Things get a bit confusing sometimes because several of Viola's (the great grandmother) stories are told in the course of the novel. Her children and grandchildren find and read them, and it's quickly apparent that some of them are actually coming true. The characters are hard to keep straight after a while, and the ending is kind of messy. But there are some genuinely spine - tingling moments..my favorite is when a woman is reading in a library, and a thick fog starts to creep up around her. Then she realizes that a porcelain doll is coming after her in the fog....and she can hear the rustling of it's dress....and as she tries to feel her way out, she keeps waiting to feel it's cold little porcelain hand touch her....the thought made me shudder! There's not much creepier than porcelain dolls, in my opinion!
Overall, The Ghost Writer was a good Halloween read, but not something I would bother re-reading.