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More Than You Know: A Novel

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3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,107 Ratings  ·  314 Reviews
In a small town called Dundee on the coast of Maine, an old woman named Hannah Gray begins her story: "Somebody said 'true love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.' I've seen both and I don't know how to tell you which is worse." Hannah has decided, finally, to leave a record of the passionate and anguished long-ago summer in Dundee when she met C ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Amanda
Aug 20, 2008 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda by: Judy
I finished this book last night. It took me a few chapters to get into it because books that go back and forth chapter to chapter between what at first seems like two unrelated stories kind of get on my nerves. Then, I stayed up way to late last night reading the whole thing because I got so engrossed in the story. It was so scary that after I finished reading it I got up and turned the hallway light on to sleep. I guess that this book was a mystery but it wasn’t one it kept you guessing “who du ...more
Jacquelyn
Dec 08, 2008 Jacquelyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I stated in my profile, I enjoy historical paranormal mysteries, and this is one of the best I've read in a long time. It is a murder mystery, a ghost story, and a romance set on the coast of Maine. It is also a tale of love turned to hatred; blame nurtured while responsibility is ignored; sad children and poor parenting. Told from the point of view of an old woman reminiscing about young love, the story weaves between the time of her youth, the depression era, and that of a troubled girl fro ...more
Margaret
This book should serve as the blueprint for how *all* ghost stories should be written. At least one of the main characters should be the restless spirit in question and at least show glimpses of how they once lived. Part of the thrill of any quality ghost fiction should be watching the path of the spirit's untimely death as its former existence is slowly revealed. The ghost should be a mysterious creature that doesn't communicate easily with the living character's conscious state of mind; otherw ...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell


Hannah Gray, an elderly woman, returns to the house she summered in as a young woman and decides to tell us the story of the summer she spent falling in love and being terrorized by a ghost. Her story is separated by the story of a family who lived on the island across from Hannah's old summer house over 100 years prior to that fatefull summer. The love story is intense and unforgettable, the ghost story is scary as all get out(the scene with the ghost in the rocking chair kept me awake the nig
...more
Amanda
Apr 03, 2012 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although very well written- ultimately I did not care much for this book. The only reason for that is that there was no closure or redemption at the end. Bad things happen to people, the people turn bitter and rotten, they do more bad things and those last into the future causing more pain- the end. No chance for the cycle to be broken, no point trying? It was creepy for sure and there was a chance for more there but the author had her reasons for not doing anything redeptive or even interesting ...more
Hannah
Apr 27, 2012 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hannah by: Margaret
Shelves: spookies, 2012-reads
Struggling to rate this book fairly.

On the one hand, the writing was top notch; really superior (5 stars for that alone). On the other hand, the actual ghost story was anticlimatic and underwhelming for my taste. Namely, I was expecting a more horrific "umph" from the ghost; more chills, goosebumps and a keep-the-lights-on kind of feeling. Some readers got that from this book, but for me it wasn't there. Perhaps it was too nuanced for my taste - I think I need a more direct approach when it come
...more
Barb
Aug 01, 2008 Barb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Barb by: Jody
Shelves: read-in-2007
Ooooh That Was Good

This is the story that Hannah Grey has waited a long time to tell. It's the story of what happened to her the summer she was seventeen, living in Maine. The summer she met Conary Crocker, the wild boy she fell in love with.

It's also the story of what began to happened with the Haskell family who lived in isolation on an island off the mainland of Dundee, Maine back in the late 1880s.

It's part love story, part ghost story.
And the two stories eventually collide...

I thought t
...more
Kelly
Dec 08, 2008 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it would be hard to get into a book after finally finishing the Twilight series. Cole brought this book home for me and it is GOOD! It's a love story and a ghost story intertwined. So far, I'm really enjoying it...

Edit: The book turned out to be kind of creepy and sad but wasn't depressing, strangely enough...I really liked it. It made me want to regress to a seventeen-year-old and spend a summer in a Maine fishing village falling in love with a boy named Conary Crocker.
Jessica
Mar 22, 2009 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this a few years ago because my local library was reading it for their bookclub. Too bad I ended up missing the meeting because I deperately wanted to talk about it. It's part journey story and part ghost story, which at first was distracting as it moved back and forth between the two. But as one does when watching a movie with subtitles, I adjusted and soon became caught up in the story, especially as the two stories began to merge. This is one I really want to read again.
Meg
Aug 29, 2008 Meg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't read this all the way through...got too scary! I live by myself and have an overactive imagination, so I don't read ghost stories anymore.
Lynda
Oct 02, 2009 Lynda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a ghost story and love story all rolled into one. A tale about life coming full circle on itself. The chapters alternate between the storyteller, Hannah and the history of a family that touches Hannah’s life one summer in a small town in Maine.

The history starts in the early 1800s when Claris Osgood is 10 years old and already feels completely different than her close, loving family members. She meets a boy named Danial Haskell and they fall in love. They marry against the Osgood’s wishe
...more
Linda
Apr 25, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book, Hannah Gray, now old and alone looks back on the first love in her life, Conary Crocker. We see through the eyes of Claris, one hundred years before the story of her marriage. Throw in a ghost(Claris) and a murder and off you go.
I liked the way Beth Gutcheon pulled me into the lives of the characters, her desciptions of beautiful and desolute places,this story kept me thinking about it for days.
Jamiebug
Jul 25, 2015 Jamiebug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars. One of the best books I've ever read. Ever. It was heartbreaking. Chilling. Beautiful. But even in the most beautiful moments, you didn't want to look back to see the featureless face that haunts so much of the story. And you knew you would too. There was no escaping the ghost. It would have its way.

Freaking genius.
Chandra
Feb 04, 2016 Chandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan of ghost stories. I don't enjoy being scared. While what happened to the ghost is gruesome, the facts about the event and the story line surrounding the event kept my interest piqued. Overall, a good story and easy read.
Denise
Jan 01, 2012 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book because it was set in Maine. It is two love stories set in two different centuries. But more than that it is a study of the people who live on the coast of Maine. The author did a great job of capturing the essence of not only those people but what their lives were like. I enjoyed the book not because of the "ghost story" aspect but because of this great portrayal of the people of Maine.
After adjusting to the "back and forth" of the story lines, I found this book to be engaging
...more
Emily
Dec 01, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: Amy
Shelves: adult-fiction
I thought this was a great book. It is both a ghost story and a love story and both are intriguing. I have one big complaint though-I wanted the ending to be so much better. Either I was smart enough to figure out who the ghost was or the writer wanted us to know through the whole book (but it seemed like it was supposed to be a mystery.) The book ended and I was a little disappointed because I felt like the big "reveal" was obvious. I was so hooked through reading it though, I still think it wa ...more
Christine
Jan 01, 2009 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
Again, a story of ghosts and their interaction with the living in a small New England town. The present and the past wrap into a story of parallel lives as the reader discovers the family tree of the characters and why the haunting takes place. It is interwoven with a story of young love, an unsolved murder and personal relationships between people from opposite sides of "the track", or in this case "the lake". I consider this book a good read for a stormy winter night.
Catherine Davison
Mar 05, 2015 Catherine Davison rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a waste of paper and ink. How on earth it got the reviews it did is beyond me! Don't bother, a total mess of plot and language. Absolute drivel. And Gutcheon steals her idea of the crime from the film Lizzie Borden starring the great Elizabeth Montgomery....I can honestly say that was the only passage in the book that gripped me and only because it put me in mind of Liz Montgomery. This is a rubbish book.
C.
Feb 14, 2016 C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I savoured “More Than You Know” as a treat because adult ghost stories were scarce. I would have been excited there was a ghost at all. However, a peer dubbed this “the ultimate paranormal content”; which for me means communication with ghosts. There was none! I felt gypped because even the haunting was pointlessly unresolved. Claris befell no death that should result in any haunting. Her situation had numerous outlets for change, easily. The rest of Beth’s novel, I praise. She bears no fault fo ...more
Paula
Jun 27, 2015 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Conary pulled me into the shadow of the bandstand and kissed me. He kissed me for so long it was like a conversation. I could feel yes, and no, and why not, moving from him to me, and I could feel it through my body down to my knees".
Elderly woman Hannah Gray narrates the moving love story between her and Conary Crocker the summer she spent in a small town in Maine as a teenager. This love story is also an unexpected ghost story. Hannah is haunted by something terrifying that weeps at night wi
...more
Brooke
Aug 08, 2011 Brooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Has some of my favorite elements: back and forth between present day and past, ghosts, island/remote living, setting is Maine. Recalls Alice Hoffman, Barbara Kingsolver, Sarah Orne Jewett. Really hooked me so far.
Jennifer Mccarthy
Jul 06, 2016 Jennifer Mccarthy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
Perfect summer read. Part ghost story and part love story. Beautifully written with nostalgia, a love of family, history, and a great cast of characters. Gave me great shivers and couldn't put it down.
Nannette
Jul 11, 2012 Nannette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am totally in love with this book, on every level.
Mary
Jul 25, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes historical fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
In the coastal town of Dundee, Maine, an elderly lady begins telling her story: "Somebody said 'true love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.' I've seen both and I don't know how to tell you which is worse." Although her children cannot understand why she insists on traveling back to Dundee, Maine every winter, Hannah Gray nevertheless finds herself drawn back to the place where her heart has always been. So, as she reaches the twilight of her life, Hannah decides, fina ...more
Susan Smith
I really, really wanted to like this book. But the editing is so poor I found it difficult to follow and it ruined what I feel is a strong attempt. However, there was one scene in the bathroom where the main character sees a ghost in the mirror standing behind her. WOW! The most powerful part of the entire story.

If you don't understand how editing can make or break a book. . .read this and the question will be answered.

Would I recommend: Only to see what, IMO, is poor editing.
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Hannah Gray is now an old woman, reliving the summer when she was seventeen and in love. She's revisiting her grandparents' house on the coast of Maine and re-reading her journal from that summer. She was fighting with her stepmother, her father was back home in Boston, and the house they had rented was haunted but Hannah was the only one who could see that. She eventually stumbles on the tale of a gruesome murder with ties to the house when it was located on an island out on the bay. In a dual ...more
Antoinette
Jul 12, 2012 Antoinette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't seek out ghost stories, but this one accidentally sucked me in since I didn't really read the dust jacket very thoroughly. The chapters alternate between a long time ago (unless I missed something, it wasn't completely clear until about two-thirds of the way through that this part took place in the late 1930s) and a really, really long time ago (mid-1800s). I can see I'm doing a bang-up job of describing it. Well, I'm not actually sure what to say about it, but it was hard to put down, a ...more
Kate
Jan 10, 2011 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We had book club last week and discussed Beth Gutcheon's More Than You Know. It was a spooky ghost story set on the coast of Maine, jumping from the 20th century to the 19th. An old woman named Hannah Gray begins her story by saying "Somebody said 'true love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about, and few have seen.' I've seen both, and I don't know how to tell you which is worse." Hannah tells the story of her youthful love affair and the appearance of a ghost in their lives that shatters t ...more
Andrea Dowd
Jul 13, 2015 Andrea Dowd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had never seen or heard about this book or author until I picked it up in St. Paul over Christmas, and I am thrilled that I did!

"More Than You Know" is both a love story and a thriller. It's also two parallel stories, the Osgood/Haskell family in the late 1800s, and Hannah's, an old woman telling her story of being a teen in the 30s.

Their stories are intertwined because of an unhappy family who haunt an island, a town, and a house. Both stories are also linked through unhappy marriages, thwar
...more
Becky
Dec 22, 2010 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More than you know is a love story, or make that multiple love stories, told by the elderly 20th century woman, Hannah Gray. Hannah revisits the summer home town of her youth, Dundee, Maine to tell the story of her own first love and adventures with the wild hometown boy, Conary Crocker. It is during this summer love that Hannah learns first hand that the past can have a profound affect on the present. Hannah and Conary are both witnesses to an apparition and in seeking information about the tow ...more
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Beth Gutcheon grew up in western Pennsylvania. She was educated at Harvard where she took an honors BA in English literature. She has spent most of her adult life in New York City, except for sojourns in San Francisco and on the coast of Maine. In 1978, she wrote the narration for a feature-length documentary on the Kirov ballet school, The Children of Theatre Street, which was nominated for an Ac ...more
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“I don't suppose you have to believe in ghosts to know that we are all haunted, all of us, by things we can see and feel and guess at, and many more things that we can't.” 36 likes
“I wanted this day, the perfect buttery sun like peach ice cream, the speed, the satin leather of the car seat, the fair. Forbidden fruit, a day like no other. ” 6 likes
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