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Dusty Waters: A Ghost Story

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3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Dusty Waters is a ghost story, a family saga, the history of a haunted house, and a biography of a folksinger. Dusty's friend, Katharine, has volunteered to help her write the official biography, but there is one piece of her life that will not be part of the biography, she can see ghosts; Dusty's ancestral home Tanglewood is filled with them. This inherited sight adds a v ...more
Paperback, first edition, 332 pages
Published June 19th 2009 by Field Stone Press (first published March 27th 2009)
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Katherine Marple
Apr 09, 2010 Katherine Marple rated it it was amazing
Dusty Waters is a 5 star read. We meet Dusty in her 40s (I think?) and she is somewhat of a hippie in that she stands up against the government through her songs and her unashamed preaching. She is smart and has lived a life. Her childhood friend, Katharine, is writing a book about Dusty (now that Dusty is a famous folk singer) and "Dusty Waters: a ghost story" is a mixture of the interviews that Dusty and Katharine share, and the back stories that Dusty tells in first person narrative. Always i ...more
Linda Robinson
Sep 01, 2009 Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing
This is a darn good book, gifted to us by an accomplished storyteller. We're treated to an extremely satisfying array of characters, from the quiet, marred Asher, to raucous, sequined Dede; and guided by the quirky, gravel-voiced, 6 feet, 3 inch creator of Dusty Boots Records.

I read fiction to be absorbed, to move into a house with people I don't know yet, to sit in the chairs in the parlor, or disappear into the library behind the secret panel and see the dust on the bookjackets and smell the a
...more
Adele
Jul 27, 2009 Adele rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good gossip and a ghost story
Recommended to Adele by: first reads
Shelves: first-reads
this is a story about the lives and love of dusty waters. she is a folk singer with an attitude. but if you had lived through what she has i guess you would be the same!
dusty can see and communicate with ghosts. this gift is found out when her dad tragically died one morning and never really left.
After this the family move into Tanglewood(and mysterious mansionlike place) and with even more ghosts to keep dusy busy.
This biography of Dusty and her life living at tanglewood is an intresting one.
...more
Amanda Skinner
Dec 14, 2009 Amanda Skinner rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy of "Dusty Waters: A Ghost Story" from the giveaway page.

I loved this book! I was going into it expecting something really supernatural, focused on spirits/ghosts. Instead I read a beautiful story about living life. Dusty's ability to see ghosts is just a part of her, like being tall, or having curly hair.

Dusty's voice carried me along on a gentle pace through the story of her life. I laughed, I cried, and I put the book down feeling better for having read it. I can't wait to pick it
...more
Naomi
Sep 17, 2010 Naomi rated it did not like it
I can't believe how much I disliked this book. First off, I have never seen a book jacket so totally opposite than the book itself. This, in my opinion, was not a ghost story in the traditional sense of a ghost story..also it was written in just an unusual manner which I found after a bit became annoying. If I didn't have to finish this for a challenge, I wouldn't have. Also, this book was an example of why I prefer to get my books from libraries and such vs. purchasing them.
Fred Wellner
Jul 10, 2009 Fred Wellner rated it it was amazing
Although I'm partial (my wife wrote this book), it is an exceptionally good read. The style of story-telling is unique and first person. Characters are individuals with depth, a testament to the author's careful and extensive research. As much as it's a ghost story, it's also political, funny in the right places, and insightful into human nature.

Read it. Enjoy it. :)
Gwyneth Stewart
Jun 16, 2012 Gwyneth Stewart rated it really liked it
This book, as several other review point out, is not a classic ghost story. It's more a novel with has several ghost characters. The main character, Dusty Waters, has been able to see ghosts since she was three years old and her father died suddenly (this isn't a spoiler, it happens in the first few pages). Her mother is left with 8 children to raise on her own. Before Dusty is school age, the family moves back to the house her mother grew up in. The house is a grand old monstrosity, hundreds of ...more
Monique Wilkins
Jun 12, 2014 Monique Wilkins rated it it was amazing
Dusty Waters is a book of many stories that help the reader to understand the development of Dusty Waters (the main character). This novel kept my attention the whole time because of all the stories and the bouncing back and forth between Dusty's interviews and her recollections of her past. The writing is detailed, funny, and unique. Ryan's prose is unlike any I have read before. The book brought me through a range of emotions from laughter to sadness to frustration to happiness. When a novel c ...more
Melinda
Apr 18, 2011 Melinda rated it it was ok
Shelves: wall-of-shame
Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story, is not a ghost story. It's a people story with ghosts on the sidelines. Dusty is a folksinger, who just happens to be able to see and communicate with ghosts. The book is about Dusty having her memoirs written by an old friend. That was interesting enough to make me immediately want to read this book. Sadly, for me, the result was rather boring. Imagine if Forrest Gump was female, and could see ghosts. Not that Dusty was challenged in any way other than her second si ...more
Kristina
May 07, 2010 Kristina rated it really liked it
I totally enjoyed this one and for so many different reasons. Laura's writing style is just really awesome and has a unique flow to it. She really managed to make the story feel intimate.


'Dusty Waters: A Ghost Story' was certainly a unique book. I initially got interested in this one because it was a "ghost" story, but it turned out to be so much more than that. Yes, there are ghosts in the book, but I think this one really dug deeper. It really hits on the "ghosts" of our past and how they shap
...more
Laura J. W.
Jun 27, 2009 Laura J. W. rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: Adults
I can’t really call this a review as this is my own book, but as I reflect on it four years after its publication, I still love it, and have found the reactions of readers very interesting — no surprises. Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story is a literary fiction novel, it is not the usual ghost story with a haunted house — oh, yes, Tanglewood is very haunted, but it’s a ghost story as much about life as it is about death. It’s a coming of age story and a story about coming to terms with the past. Dusty ...more
Violet
Jul 30, 2009 Violet rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book was kind of hard for me to rate. I gave it a four because of the excellent way the author developed the story. The book starts out with an interview for a biography aabout Dusty and goes back and forth between the interview and the life story of Dusty. The author manages to get a whole lot of life in this book, starting out with three year old Dusty seeing her fathers ghost after he dies at the kitchen table. The book touches on Vietnam and how her family was affected, Woodstock, not b ...more
Amber
Jul 20, 2009 Amber rated it it was ok
This book started out so well that I was captivated. I read it in 2 days. But about 2/3 of the way thru the book it fell apart for me.
The story is about a woman retelling her life story to a friend, who is writing her biography.
The young Dusty is so interesting and well created that I really liked her character. She sees ghosts throughout her life and she tells some of their stories, her interactions with them, and her own feelings about seeing them.
But the grown up Dusty is a woman I did not li
...more
Theresa
Nov 15, 2009 Theresa rated it really liked it
This was about about the life story of a fictional character named Dusty Waters , a folksinger. When her father died one morning at breakfast she saw and conversed with him at the breakfast table for the next three years. No one in her family believed she could see his ghost and called her crazy. When they moved into her Mother's ancestral home, she saw and heard family spirits.
I liked the way the author wrote the story. Sprinkled through out the book, it was written as though Dusty was being
...more
Lydia
Apr 26, 2010 Lydia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook
Oh my goodness. This was a terrible book. I thought it was going to be a ghost story (based on the title - duh!), but it turns out it was just an opportunity to rant about politics and "those crazy religious nuts". I didn't realize what I was getting myself into. If you are are solidly on the left, you might enjoy this book. Otherwise, steer clear from this one. It was so irritating because there were times that the story encouraged me to continue reading, and then I would get hit in the face wi ...more
Deborah
Apr 22, 2010 Deborah rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, x2012
I'm a third of the way into this book and highly enjoying it. Dusty is giving an interview for her biography. As the story takes us back into her childhood, we have an highly independent and observant girl who is well aware of other peoples behavior and where she stands on a great many issues. Through her eyes we have a young girl seeing how the world issues can shape our lives without being able to stop it. As well as the story of Tanglewood, her family home and legacy.
Cathie
Dec 10, 2009 Cathie rated it really liked it
Shelves: goodreads-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sue Gray
Jan 21, 2011 Sue Gray rated it really liked it
This is not your traditional ghost story populated with chain rattling ghosts. These are ghosts (not past memories, but ghosts) of people from the main characters family that have passed and friends that have been lost. Her story is about how these ghosts shaped her life and how she is is able to help some and come to terms with he past.
Lauren
Aug 03, 2013 Lauren rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, but I love ghost stories - lol!
Connie
Apr 26, 2010 Connie rated it liked it
This was an interesting book...the language is not my preference and there is a lot of it...but it has a good storyline.
Melissa
I won this on first reads.

Probably because I believe that our loved ones are always around us, I really liked this one. It will be one I keep in my library forever.
Jill
Nov 14, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it
It wasn't all that ghosty.
Chris
Jul 28, 2012 Chris rated it it was ok
the story was good. i could have done without the transcript format and the song lyrics. I liked dusty the best in her youth at tanglewood and after the "book" was in manuscript form. everything vame together in the end in a way which i think worked.
Laura J. W.
Nov 19, 2010 Laura J. W. rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Well, I've gone and done it...I have created an e-book...for now, exclusively for the B&N Nook. Same book as the paperback original, just as a Nook Book. Dusty Waters is a unique book, and I hope you enjoy her!
Jennifer Boyce
May 17, 2012 Jennifer Boyce rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-worth-it
I couldn't get into this book, it just wasn't good at all.
Kevin
Kevin rated it it was amazing
Mar 26, 2015
Nevey
Nevey rated it it was amazing
Jul 29, 2009
Raenel
Raenel rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2012
Janet
Janet rated it liked it
Mar 23, 2012
Leslie
Leslie rated it liked it
Aug 20, 2012
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Q&A with Laura J....: Kindle Edition 1 1 Dec 05, 2011 03:59PM  
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Laura is an artist, a writer, and a photographer. She lives in an old farmhouse on top of a windswept hill in Upstate New York with her Fred of 30 + years, their son, and five cats. She adopted a mini-donkey and one wee goat - these little buckets of sunshine live happily in a very big barn down the road apiece. There was once “one dog named Max”, but sadly, he has gone where the best of good boys ...more
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