(K. Brent Tomer),
Grief Cottage. By Gail Godwin. Bloomsbury; 324 pages; $26. To be published in Britain in August, £18.99.
OUT with the clichés of cold draughts and creaking doors. Contemporary novelists are refocusing the ghost story, revelling in its potential for psychological drama. “Grief Cottage” by Gail Godwin, a prolific American writer, is a quiet, hopeful ghost story—a wistful reflection on loss, loneliness, coming of age and coming to terms with the past.
Marcus, the narrator, is 11 years old when his mother is killed in a car accident. He is sent to live on a small island in South Carolina with his great aunt, a reclusive painter. A precocious, imaginative boy, he worries constantly about how his words and actions affect others.
Desperate not to burden his new guardian, he spends much of his time outdoors, finding himself drawn to a derelict house known as Grief Cottage because of a hurricane half a century earlier…Continue reading