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A Reader of Fictions: Ghost - Neutral Milk Hotel

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ghost - Neutral Milk Hotel

In Search of the Rose Notes

Author: Emily Arsenault
Pages: 384
ARC Acquired from: Avon via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Nora hasn't been back to Waverly since she left for college. She kept up with her childhood friend, Charlotte, but otherwise there's nothing she wants to remember from Waverly. One day, Charlotte informs Nora that the body of their childhood babysitter, Rose, who went missing during her junior year, has been found. Her bones appeared near a local pond, clearly having been moved from somewhere else. Rose's disappearance had a huge impact on Nora, so this discovery compels her to go back to Waverly and learn what she can.

When I started this book, I really had no idea what it was about or what to expect. I requested it ages ago and have only just gotten around to reading it (obviously). Well, I was completely blown away. I didn't have high expectations, but the book kept drawing me in. The writing and the narrative style were utterly captivating.

The narrative alternates between Nora's present (2006) and her past (1996). This gives a good view into what happened then, along with the knowledge only a grown up can bring to the situation. The story lines from her childhood dovetail perfectly with the present happenings.

While the whole book has a spooky feel to it, there is little of the horrible in it. Mostly, the book just left me thinking about how fragile people are and what a huge impact actions can have. This is one of those books that I find myself having difficulty explaining, because I was more caught up in the beauty of the writing and the fascination of the relationships between people than something particularly dramatic in the tale, and those that I could relate would be spoilers.

Anyway, I heartily recommend this to anyone interested in ghosts, mysteries, or the difficulty in considering the events of youth from a mature perspective. This was a truly beautiful and tragic story.

P.S. I had trouble finding a song for this one, but I went with this one both because it references Charlotte's childhood fascination with the paranormal and because Nora mentioned being a fan of Neutral Milk Hotel.

"Ghost, ghost I know you live within me
Feel as you fly
In thunderclouds above the city"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds like a really good book, and something that I would be really interested in reading. Thanks for the review, can't wait to check it out!

November 20, 2011 at 8:45 PM  

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