Grief Cottage
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Grief Cottage : A Novel

3.73 (1,673 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2017 (Top 10)
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2017

The haunting tale of a desolate cottage, and the hair-thin junction between this life and the next, from bestselling National Book Award finalist Gail Godwin.

After his mother's death, eleven-year-old Marcus is sent to live on a small South Carolina island with his great aunt, a reclusive painter with a haunted past. Aunt Charlotte, otherwise a woman of few words, points out a ruined cottage, telling Marcus she had visited it regularly after she'd moved there thirty years ago because it matched the ruin of her own life. Eventually she was inspired to take up painting so she could capture its utter desolation.

The islanders call it "Grief Cottage," because a boy and his parents disappeared from it during a hurricane fifty years before. Their bodies were never found and the cottage has stood empty ever since. During his lonely hours while Aunt Charlotte is in her studio painting and keeping her demons at bay, Marcus visits the cottage daily, building up his courage by coming ever closer, even after the ghost of the boy who died seems to reveal himself. Full of curiosity and open to the unfamiliar and uncanny given the recent upending of his life, he courts the ghost boy, never certain whether the ghost is friendly or follows some sinister agenda.

Grief Cottage is the best sort of ghost story, but it is far more than that--an investigation of grief, remorse, and the memories that haunt us. The power and beauty of this artful novel wash over the reader like the waves on a South Carolina beach.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 27.94mm | 633g
  • Bloomsbury USA
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1632867044
  • 9781632867049
  • 722,646

Review Text

[Godwin] remains a forensically skillful examiner of her characters' motives, thoughts and behavior. Grief Cottage revisits some of her favorite themes--fractured families, parentless children, the initial shock and long-term repercussions of death and disappearance, how the future can run off course in a flash--to make the very good point that it doesn't require a ghost to haunt a life . . . Deeply satisfying. New York Times
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Review quote

"Something between a search for understanding and a mournful confession . . . A testament to the power of storytelling to bring solace when none other is possible." - Washington Post on FLORA

"Remorse may be the defining emotion for our narrator, Helen, but Godwin the writer has nothing to regret: Flora is an elegant little creeper of a story." - Maureen Corrigan, NPR Fresh Air

"Flora is a beautiful examination of character and the far-reaching repercussions of our actions. Gail Godwin brings grace, honesty, and enormous intelligence to every page." - Ann Patchett

"Flora is Godwin at her best, a compelling story about Helen's growth of consciousness told with fearless candor and the poignant wisdom of hindsight." - Boston Globe

"A chronicle of her life as a writer whose career has been boosted and buffeted by the vagaries of the publishing industry. She has made of it a suspenseful account, with . . . emotional depth, too." - Wall Street Journal on PUBLISHING

"A memoir in the old sense of the term, a story with a scope of five decades written by an author of some renown . . . You don't have to be a hungry writer or an aspiring editor to appreciate Publishing. You don't have to have followed Godwin's career as a reader either, though the millions who have will be treated to a look behind the scenes." - New York Times Book Review on PUBLISHING

"Godwin affectionately divulges the various moments, places, and characters in her life that eventually slipped into her 14 novels. These disclosures leave you hungry to reread her oeuvre with the newfound secrets in mind." - Entertainment Weekly on PUBLISHING

"This memoir by the acclaimed, prolific novelist is testament to both her talent and her perseverance." - O, the Oprah Magazine on PUBLISHING
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About Gail Godwin

Gail Godwin is a three-time National Book Award finalist and the bestselling author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed books, including Publishing, a memoir, and the novels Flora, Father Melancholy's Daughter, and Evensong. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants for both fiction and libretto writing, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Woodstock, New York. www.gailgodwin.com.
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Rating details

1,673 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 20% (330)
4 44% (742)
3 27% (454)
2 8% (128)
1 1% (19)
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