Raum's Reviews > Ghostwriter

Ghostwriter by Lissa Bryan
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Aug 22, 12

Read in August, 2012

The following review has been originally posted on My Reading Lounge, where you can find more reviews about original and derivative fiction.


Imagine you're alone in the middle of the night, snuggled on your favorite armchair, sipping a cup of tea. Which would be the ideal book to read? If your answer is “a ghost story,” or “a romance,” the perfect choice for you would be Ghostwriter by Lissa Bryan. To tell you about it Camilla and Raum have joined forces.

Lissa Bryan's first published novel will take you on a little island where strange things happen and where Sara Howell, the island's newest resident, will unravel secrets that had been hidden for decades.
We'd like to highlight how well Lissa Bryan's has developed her main character. Since the first chapter, the readers get to feel that they know Sara as if she were a friend. We can understand her worries, and we particularly admired the way Sara deals with her problems with great courage and a touch of irony. She hasn't had an easy life, but the difficulties haven't made her bitter or devoid of hope.
However, Sara is almost at the end of her tether: she's broken with her boyfriend and needs to find cheap lodging. An apparently fortuitous meeting with a realtor, a smart woman called Ginny, offers her an unique opportunity, almost too good to be true. Ginny and her brooding cousin Becca will have a role in the story.
The opportunity Sara is offered is to rent the island home of Seth Fortner – her favorite writer, a tragic and fascinating character whose untimely death remains a mystery; she goes to live on that secluded haven to write her own book.
It is a distasteful task, the biography of a politician who has fed her only empty platitudes as reference. But it has to be done: Sara has no money, and the book is her last chance of independence. Therefore, it's understandable that, tormented by continuous headaches, she lets the work she's supposed to be doing lag behind, while the figure of the house’s dead owner captures her imagination more and more every day.
Seth's and Sara's paths cross three times: the first one was when a younger Sara fell in love with Fortner's novels; the second one is when Sara discovers Seth's letters that had been hidden in the cottage's attic, and the third one...you’ll discover it through the book, albeit, since this is a ghost story, you can imagine what happens. How it happens is full of magic and wonder.
But, as the gripping back story of Seth Fortener slowly emerges, we understand that fate has brought Sara where she was meant to be, to fulfill a very unconventional, surprising but deeply satisfying destiny, one where love is capable of performing miracles.
Lissa Bryan has the rare gift to deal with themes such as forgiveness, greed, redemption, and guilt with an elegant, light touch. Mystery, romance, and the characters' views about war, political themes, and family are perfectly balanced. We had the opportunity to admire Lissa Bryan's talent since her previous works – she wrote some fan fictions that had been highly praised for the way she found new paths for famous characters. With her original fiction, she's showing how her talent is coming to a full bloom.

You'll find yourself turning page after page of Ghostwriter and, just like Sara, you'll discover that you don't want to leave the island till the solution of ancient mysteries will be revealed.

Camilla & Raum
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message 1: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Bryan Thank you!

Raum Thank YOU for writing such a lovely story!

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