Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ghost Stories: Old and New

In less than a month, recently, I read three novels with a ghostly element.

In Anne Tyler’s A Beginner’s Goodbye , the visits of his wife’s ghost allow a widower to resolve his personal issues and move forward. The exquisite characterization portrays the man and woman and ghost, the nature of their marriage, and how his growth arc is affected by the ghost.
Peter Beagle’s A Fine and Private Place, first published in 1960, is the story of two new ghosts who find each other when they’re buried in the same cemetery and a middle-aged man who has been hiding there for nineteen years to escape his troubled life. The unique interaction of the characters makes a very compelling read.
In The Cove by Ron Rash, the cove setting was believed to be haunted which precipitated many events of the story.
In Tyler and Beagle’s stories, the interaction between the ghost and human’s are somewhat similar, although the wife-ghost is much more in the background than the two new ghosts, who have their own arcs and interaction.
Rash personified the cove so it affected the characters’ lives, as well.

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