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More Than You Know

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3.6  ·  Rating details ·  2,402 Ratings  ·  361 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
Paperback, 269 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2000)
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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
Amanda
Aug 16, 2008 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Amanda
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Hannah by: Margaret
Shelves: 2012-reads, spookies
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
Linda  Branham Greenwell
Feb 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing


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
Carol
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my second read of this lovely, poignant work and I only loved it more. Haunting and atmospheric.
Hannah
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
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 is recounting the story of the summer when she moved to Dundee and met Conary, the town bad boy. At the same time, Hannah is living in a house that is haunted by a vengeful ghost. She finds out that it belonged to the Haskell family where
...more
Barb
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Antonella Albano
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Intriguing plot and beautiful narrative style. I did, however, felt that the book lacked something. The mirroring of the two stories (the contemporary character being haunted by events and characters of the past), each told in alternating chapters, seems somehow disconnected. There was no closure, no reconciling for what really happened. I actually enjoy open ended stories, but in this book there wasn’t enough to connect the dots.
Emily
Sep 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
This is a pretty clumsy book... There's little consistency with the narrative voice, there are problems with referring multiple houses that come into play as "the house" at various points, literary devices like themes, motifs, etc. are all way too obvious...

But what can I say? I'm a sucker for teenage angst, ghost stories and Maine, so I zipped right through this and enjoyed myself most of the time.
Jessica
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kelly
Dec 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Jennifer McCarthy
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Meg
Aug 29, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Mike
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
One summer while on the coast of Maine, a young woman falls in love but soon finds herself haunted by a mysterious tragedy that occurred a century earlier.

2.5 stars - A few eerie scenes and writing like this: "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", turned a rather dry story into an interesting read.
Lisa
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I feel like I wasn’t rooting for this book to be as good as it was in its early chapters. But by the end I felt sorrow for its younger characters, those who were teenagers in the 30s and being haunted by ghosts from the previous century.

Two teenagers find each other in the midst of a summer that is turmoil for both. They share experiences of dealing with the same ghost separately and then together twice.

Very readable.
Mimi
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2018
I'm not sure how this hit my radar as I am traditionally not a ghost story reader. I enjoyed the two stories and the way that Gutcheon tied them together. I am a wuss and thankful that it wasn't too creepy, more sad.
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
Lynda
Oct 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Elisa
Oct 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fun-novels
A good love/mystery/ghost story. I really couldn't put it down and read til 1:30 am to finish it. The ghost is genuinely chilling. The story kind of strange. The lovey stuff is pleasantly set in a lazy summer in Maine. Descriptions of the countryside were captivatin. Their relationship is cute, if a little slow at times. The ghost story, well, at first I really empathized with each member of the family, and then their petulance and selfishness really got to me. By the end, I didn't like ANY of t ...more
Kit★
Sep 08, 2010 rated it liked it
I got into this book pretty fast, and found it was hard to put down. I liked the alternating storys, with the Haskells in the past and the old lady telling her story. When I finished it though, I felt like I was unsatisfied, I didn't get enough of either storyline, and that's what I didn't like most. I was fascinated by the chapters set in the 1800s and I would have loved to be able to delve deeper into that side of the story. More development of those characters could've made the story better, ...more
Elizabeth Nielsen
Jun 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Told in part by a first-person narrator reflecting on events that occured in the 1930s and in part by an omniscient narrator detailing events that took place nearly a century earlier, this ghost story is as bleak as the Maine coast in which it is set. The word I would use to describe it is "unsettling"--not just because of its dark subject matter, but because some of its deepest mysteries remain, by the time the last page is turned, mysteries. That is not necessarily a bad thing (think Turn of t ...more
Denise
Jan 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Nov 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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.
Linda
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Catherine Davison
Sep 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
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.
Jamie  D.
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Ashlee
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Missed the mark for me. Disjointed and confusing. Moments of promise got mixed in with what felt like extra or distracting details. Not so much a ghost story as a meandering tale loosely trying to tie two stories together.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: More Than You Know 1 6 Apr 28, 2013 08:45PM  
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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.” 38 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. ” 7 likes
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