The Winter Ghosts (Hardback)
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Short Description for The Winter Ghosts From the author of the "New York Times"-bestselling "Labyrinth" comes a story of two lives touched by war and transformed by courage. A World War I vet stranded by a snowstorm in a village in the French Pyrenees unearths a tragic, centuries-old mystery.
- Published: 03 February 2011
- Format: Hardback 288 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780399157158 ISBN 10: 0399157158
- Sales rank: 596,048
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Reviews for The Winter Ghosts
A quietly gothic ghost story mixed with a mystery
FIRST SENTENCE: He walked like a man recently returned to the world.
We open in 1933, with Frederick Watson, a well-dressed and deliberate gentleman, walking into the shop of Monsieur Sourat, a bookseller and medieval scholar, in Toulouse. Freddie needs a translation of an ancient letter written in Occitan, an old language of the region. And the story behind the letter unfolds ...
Freddie has previously spent time in a sanatorium, after a breakdown when he was 21 over the death of his brother, George, who died in the war six years before. Ten years after George's death, still steeped in grief and melancholy, his health has never been fully restored, and he takes a small road trip. He ends in the foothills of the Pyrenees, where he has a car accident. He seems to have heard a voice both before and after the accident:
"I am the last"
"The others have slipped away into darkness"
As he walks, he finds himself in Nulle, a village that seems to have some sadness hanging over it. At the inn where he takes a room, Madame Galy tells him of a festival that evening and gives him a map to find it so he can attend if he feels up to it. When he eventually makes it to the festival, after getting turned around quite a bit, he meets a beautiful girl named Fabrissa, who captures his heart and appears to read his thoughts.
This novel has a classic writing style, written in brooding and somewhat gothic tones. As you read, you just know something is going to happen and the creeping suspense keeps you turning page after page.
What we find is a surprising ages-old tale of sadness, and a book that you'll want to put on your keeper shelf.
Delusion and hope and longing, all tumbling one after the other like a falling line of dominoes. It was, after all a path well worn. A decade of mourning leaves its footprints on the heart.
"...They wanted the son who played ruby and cricket and went to war, not a sickly indoors boy, a boy who cared more for music and books than riding or hunting or skating on the river in winter when the River Lavant froze over."
"....Life is not, as we are taught, a matter of seeking answers, but rather learning which are the questions we should ask."
Writing: 5 out of 5 stars
Plot: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Characters: 4 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion: 4.5 out 5 stars
BOOK RATING: 4.5 out of 5 stars by Julie Smith