American Ghost: A Family's Extraordinary History on the Desert Frontier
“A haunting story about the long reach of the past.”—Maureen Corrigan, NPR’S Fresh Air
“In this intriguing book, [Nordhaus] shares her journey to discover who her immigrant ancestor really was—and what strange alchemy made the idea of her linger long after she was gone.” —People
La Posada—“place of rest”—was once a grand Santa Fe mansion. It belonged to Abraham and J...more
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The author really had to reach to get enough to fi ...more
This is not a "Ghost" story as some seem to surmise, especially the trailer, as much as an author's memoir of her Sante Fe genealogy search. In whole it is far more a thorough multi branch and generational genealogy coupled with ...more
The author makes some lovely observations at the story's end, and I ...more
With a title like this one, I was sure this book would make an excellent Halloween read. I'm not a slasher, blood and gore type horror fan, but instead lean toward the creepy, chiller ghost and haunted house stories. So, I was all set to immerse myself in a little history, a little haun ...more
That’s a Salman Rushdie line (from "The Satanic Verses") but it’s a perfect description of what Hannah Norhaus sets out to do with American Ghost—chase down some unfinished business.
In this case, the ghost is from her own past—a great-great-grandmother whose life and death deserved, well, fleshing-out.
The woman was Julia Schuster Staab. Her life began in Germany. It ended half way around the world, as the lonely and disheartened wife ...more
I must say that, unfortunately, I was less than thrilled. I found it put together quite haphazardly, at times, with chapters that had very little to do with Julia Staab. Almost half way through, we'd learned what felt like next to nothing about the ghost or her story. Instead, the auth ...more
Part memoir, part family history, part ghost story, this work of non-fiction follows the author's investigation into her great-great-grandmother, Julia Staab, who is said to haunt a hotel in Santa Fe. Apparently the ghost is quite infamous, as TV shows, spiritualists, and novelists have flocked to the story. Julia and her husband Arthur became the subject of many books and articles after the appearance of her ghost in the 1970 ...more
Interspersed with the ghost hunt is a family history from Ju ...more
Today's Nonfiction post is on American Ghost:The True Story of a Family's Haunted Past by Hannah Nordhaus. It is 336 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. The cover has the corner of a room with white window drape fluttering in the wind. There is some mild language, no sex, and talk of violence in this book. The intended reader is adult, someone interested in Jewish American history, ghost stories, or just history in general. The story told in both first person and third; first person by ...more
I was rather disappointed with this book. I thought the premise was good and there were certain parts of the book that were very good and interesting. However it felt more like a history lesson rather than dealing with what the synopsis lead you to believe, being a ghost story. I do think that it was important to provide a background on Julia and her family but really that was the major meat of this book and very little about the actual ghost story or the author's exper ...more
Well written, but, for me, boring. I felt meh for most of the book that I read, although there were parts of it I liked. I think that this is one I should try when I'm older and have taken an interest in looking back at my own family tree.
Colorado Bookshelf: "American Ghost"
Boulder-based journalist Hannah Nordhaus goes hunting for the ghost of her great-great-grandmother, who is said to haunt a famed Santa Fe hotel, in this heavily researched historical (and personal) nonfiction narrative.
MARCH 11 2015, 4:00 PM
It's a safe bet that Boulder-based journalist Hannah Nordhaus has a better campfire ghost story than you do. Her tale involves a spirit that has alternately haunted and ...more
When I read the first few pages I was caught up and then came upon the part with the first psychic. I was thinking to myself this isn't going to be good since she is going to weaken the book with all this drivel but ...more
I loved, loved, loved this nonfiction book about the author trying to separate family lore from the true story of Nordhaus’ great great great grandmother, a German Jewish mailorder bride who traveled across the dangerous American landscape in the mid 1800s to become wedded to the most successful businessman in the newly developing Santa Fe NM. The lavish home he later built for her has now been turned into a hotel, La Posada, and there are reports of it be ...more
Her most recent book, American Ghost, untangles the life and legend of Hannah’s great-great-grandmother Julia Staab, who traveled the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico in 1866 as a mail-order German-Jewish bride — and whose phantom ...more