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One of Britain's bestselling novelists seeks to engage the sensibilities of North American readers in this finely crafted and sometimes painful character-driven story of faith, loss and a reunion of old friends. The book opens with one of David Herrick's terror-filled nightmares. It's a waking incubus as well, as David muses with raw grief upon the everyday household objects that remind him of his beloved wife, Jessica, who has recently died. When a letter arrives from Jessica's best school chum, Angela Brook, David learns of one last item Jessica has left him. To procure it, he journeys to Angela's home, the ancient, crumbling, Headly Manor, which has a reputation for being haunted. Angela has put together a weekend reunion of their old St. Mark's youth group, and it is in the company of their old acquaintances that David exorcises some of his ghosts. Plass's character descriptions are refreshing in that he never succumbs to sentimentality or sidesteps more painful developments in an attempt to sugarcoat his novel or target a more conservative readership. Ghosts populate the book: of loved ones lost and of old patterns and relationships, and in the chilling accounts of a specter that may or may not haunt the ancient estate. Faith and all of its sometimes absurd trappings are portrayed with honest compassion-Plass is never bitter or harsh, but always authentic. American audiences will be delighted to discover this thoughtful and eloquent novelist and should warmly embrace this beautifully conceived and executed book.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
British writer Plass' Ghosts tells of David Herrick, a man grieving for his dead wife, Jessica. David has withdrawn into a solitary existence punctuated by dreams that seem like communications from the beyond and are full of "ghosts." With some reluctance, he accepts the invitation for a reunion of old friends from Jessica's friend Angela. Members of the group, each wounded by life in some way, talk their way through their fears, killing off ghosts one by one. Preachy, and not really a ghost story; but also graceful, and perhaps helpful for someone who has recently lost a loved one. John Mort
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