Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ghost in the House” as Want to Read:
The Ghost in the House
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ghost in the House

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  69 reviews
What if a ghost were haunting your house? What if you were the ghost?

Everything in Fay's life is perfect--living in the house she dreamed of as a child, married to a man she loves, and planning her life as an artist. Her life seems full of possibility. Then, late one night, Fay realizes that something has gone wrong.

Things have altered in the house and some­how time, and F
Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 7th 2020 by Doubleday Canada
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ghost in the House, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Ghost in the House

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  242 ratings  ·  69 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Ghost in the House
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-books
It is difficult to fit The Ghost in the House by Sara O’Leary into one particular genre. This is the story of Fay. Her life is where she always hoped it would be: her husband is the love of her life, her house is the home of her dreams, her career is very satisfying. Until, without knowing why, she realizes that everything in her life has changed. A teenager is living in her house, her husband is married to an unknown woman, her house has been re-decorated and so on. What could have gone wrong? ...more
Original and quirky. I enjoyed it.

Let’s face it, we all wonder whether there is life after death. If not ‘life‘ then we wonder just what does happen after we die. The author uses dark humor and pathos to imagine coming back to your home after you die. Original and oddly compelling.

The entire time I was reading of Fay’s foray back to her marital home, I was wondering what would become of her. This kept me turning pages. Ironic because she was already dead.

I loved how one of the things she regrett
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2020, jul-20
The Ghost In The House, by Sara O'Leary, is a very moving story!
Fay's life is perfect. She is married to the man she loves, lives in her dream home and is planning her career as an artist. Then something goes wrong. Everything has changed. Everything has ended except for how she feels.
Not a scary ghost story, but a story of love, loss, grief and acceptance.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada/Doubleday Canada for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
This short novel had such an interesting premise and it delivered. It was such a heartbreaking story, but so well done. Fay wakes up in her house, but something is very different. At first, she thinks that she is being haunted by a ghost, but then she realizes that she is the one who is lingering in her old space. We experience her coming to terms with the end of her life and her husband's new life. The story felt somewhat like experiencing the long break-up of a doomed romance.

Thanks to NetGal
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Engaging, compelling & unputdownable!

I absolutely could not put this book down and read it in one sitting. There is some dark humour here but a story that is so touchingly profound. I don’t think I will ever forget this story!

I received an electronic ARC through NetGalley.
Thanks to Doubleday Canada, Penguin Random House Canada Limited, and NetGalley for a temporary digital ARC of The Ghost in the House by Sara O'Leary, which enabled me to read it and write an unbiased review. The thoughts expressed here are my own.

The intriguing story in this short book is told from the ghost's point of view.
Fay had a great life living in her dream house with her loving husband and planning her career as an artist. But something went awry.
This is not a scary ghost story, but a
Judy Odom
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book !

I didn't expect to like it as much as I do. Its partly because my husband died very suddenly in November and I too didn't have a chance to say goodbye.

I laughed at Fay, I sympathized with her and loved her outlook as she learns that its just not her who things have changed for !

Fay has a lot of wisdom and a few faults that will make you smile if not laugh!

My favourite quote " I hadn't thought of this. Of him being left with with everything and nothing all at once"

Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
A huge thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for the e-ARC of this book.

As someone who married a widower, this novel rang very close to home. O'Leary does a fantastic job of navigating the nuances of this experience. The number of times I have imagined the return of a ghost happened exactly as was described in this novel.

The tone of the novel was spot on, and the writing was compelling enough to keep me reading well past my bedtime. A great Canadian voice that I am very happy
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: advanced-copies
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Latest Book
Fay’s life was flawless - living in her dream home, married to her soulmate, working happily as an artist - until the moment she noticed everything was wrong. Fay doesn’t understand where time has gone, why is her house redecorated and who is the girl that resides in her studio? As Fay uncovers the answers, she learns more about the true meaning of love and life. ⁣

I INHALED this book. It was a simple story that was brilliantly executed. I expected it to be a spooky book, similar vibes to the mo
Silvia F.
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs
Awww I'm disappointed... this book had SO MUCH POTENTIAL!!! UGGH.

First things first I would like to stress that Sara O'Leary's writing style is VERY enjoyable. I flew threw the book and it was a very smooth read. She has a talent for story telling and it's clear as day that she is a very talented writer. The book however fell short for me. There was a lack of descriptive imagery and most of the time I was hoping the story would expand more on certain feelings, scenarios and would give more of a
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Maybe 4.5

I found this very short novel engrossing and hard to put down. It's a rather quirky and moving (at least to me) ghost story that's also really about some basic existential issues we all share.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Now I think what if death had been waiting for me here and I was somewhere else? What if Alec and I had stayed in Montreal and lived a completely different other life? Where would I be now? Would we be together still? Would we have a family? Could I still go back? Could I have that life?"

Fay is 37, married to the love of her life, living in her dream house, planning her dream life but she suddenly and unexpectedly dies and then comes back as a ghost. Time has moved on without her, her
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
I received a free advance copy of this book from Netgalley in return for a review.

If anyone you have deeply loved has died this book may resonate. The idea of what happens after death and whether or not the dead can visit us are questions most of us have asked at one time or another. After my mother died aged 59, I would have given anything to have her 'visit' me especially to see my children - both born after her death, but as Sara O'Leary's novel shows such 'visits' are, at the very least prob
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
If you died and came back as a ghost to haunt your beloved home, which is now occupied by your husband and his new wife, how would you behave? Would you be a benevolent, maybe even helpful spirit or would you be a terrible, raging poltergeist attempting to scare off the new wife? The ghost of Fay is our narrator and this unlikely scenario is her afterlife. Fay does a bit of both but when she finds that her husband can see and hear her everything changes. Does she take this chance to find eternal ...more
This was disorienting in the beginning. I think it was meant to be that way, but it was hard to get through the first bit. I wasn't sure what was going on and some of the things Fay said were hard to make sense of. Sometimes it was hard to differentiate what really happened from her wistful "what could have been" thoughts. This was only in the beginning though. Things started to take form when she met Dee.
The story improved and I had a hard time figuring out how to feel. I understood her frustr
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Ghost in The House by Sara O’Leary
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Description from NetGalley...
“What if there was a ghost haunting your house? What if you were the ghost? 
Everything in Fay’s life is perfect—living in the house she dreamed of as a child, married to a man she loves, and planning her life as an artist, her life seems full of possibility. Then, late one night, Fay realizes that something has gone wrong.
Things have altered in the house and somehow time has gone on without her. Fay
Jun 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian
This is a very short book. I personally would consider it a novella. I was intrigued by the concept, but the treatment was a lot lighter than I hoped for. I kept reading because Sara O’Leary is definitely a good storyteller. I did find my throat tighten in sadness when she comes to terms with having to let go, but I think that was more in reaction to memories of having to let go of loved ones in my own life, than to the characters in the story. I just wish she had dropped a level deeper into the ...more
Jen Bober
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was drawn to this book by the interesting concept of the story. It was a shorter read then I expected but it still made a great impact on me. I enjoyed the flow of the poetic writing and found it full of humor as well. Around the middle of the book I really felt this emotional tug when thinking about how it would feel to be haunting your old life. To see your family and friends move on. To not even know how you died or what was happening. I really felt for the main character and her experience ...more
Anne Logan
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Imagine my delight when realizing the author of my favourite children’s picture book had penned a novel for adults! I didn’t care what the topic was, whether it was fiction or non-fiction, I wanted to read it right away, and I’m relieved to say I loved it just as much I loved her writing for little ones. The Ghost in the House by Sara O’Leary is an unexpectedly emotional book tinged with just enough humour to make it an enjoyable read, despite the dark subject matter. Life is serious, but our re ...more
3.5 stars

This is a quick little book coming in at 190 pages.

It’s hard to put into words my thoughts on this one. It’s a unique story, funny at times but also sad. Faye seemed a little confused in the beginning, kinda like myself but it didn’t take long to grasp the storyline and feel her wide range of emotions. That being said I think another 50 pages or so would have been great to get a good handle on the situation, even to hear from Alex would have been a welcome addition, though I understand
Jen Murray
Sep 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Technically 3 and a half stars. I flew through this book - the writing style is the sort that makes it easy to flip through the pages fast. I enjoyed the story a lot, the descriptions of grief were bang on and the sometimes childishness of the ghost made me feel that this was pretty realistic (I mean as realistic as a ghost coming back to haunt her widow and his new wife and child could be). That being said I found the descriptiveness of the book as a whole lacking and I was left wanting more of ...more
Christina Boulard
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written. A truly enjoyable, heart wrenching book.
Jacinda Literature Babe
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an absolute gem of a read. Drawn in quickly, and read in one sitting, this is captivating writing.

The author Sara O'Leary has created an elegant yet bittersweet story of love; first loves, true loves and yearnings for love.

The story unfolds with haunting clarity as the main character comes to understand her place in the household. One house alive with memories both good and bad, where the rooms wait in hushed silences for new memories to be made.

If you believe in "Until death do us part"
Cheryl Sokoloff
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
At the outset, I was not really sure what was happening to Faye, She "wakes up" in her house, but somehow the decor seems to have changed overnight, where there used to be colour, everything appears muted. Her husband Alec is living in the house, but now, there is a child in the house, (she had no children), and, there is ANOTHER woman in her beloved house. Gradually, Fay begins to realize that somehow, she has fallen out of the picture. What is she now? Is she a ghost? Who could see her? Where ...more
Michelle Mallette
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
See my full review here.
It's now August and this is absolutely the best book I've read so far in 2020! Plus, I'm delighted to share that it's written by a Canadian. The book opens with Fay waking up to discover her house isn't quite as it should be. A new piece of furniture, a beloved item moved. Then she spots a strange face, that of a girl who isn't quite there. A ghost? Then Fay discovers that along with her husband, there's another person in the house, a woman. To her shock, Fay realizes her
Aug 11, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a quick read (under 200 pages). It wasn't what I expected but when the main character is a ghost, the story is going to float along. I found it a bit flat though. Not much emotion. ...more
Rebbeca Truax
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Sara O'Leary's The Ghost in the House is a tender yet lonely reality of the wife that goes to the afterlife before her husband. Dying too young she can't accept that her husband, after agonizing grief, has gone forward in the mortal world.

The Ghost in the House is the tale of an ordinary life with an extraordinary love. As the ghost Faye is learning so does the reader. Time is precious and minding the moment is the best we can do because life and death is always fair.
Thomas W
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My goodness, this book is beautiful. I cried so much reading this. It's one of those stories that cuts deep. If you've ever lost someone you wished you had ten more minutes with, you'll feel this book. ...more
May 21, 2020 rated it liked it
When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. (I have played a "zillion games" of scrabble, done a "zillion crosswords" and I AM BORED!!!)

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wow, No Thank You.
  • 82년생 김지영
  • Men Explain Things to Me
  • Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be
  • Red at the Bone
  • Still Here (Still, #3)
  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
  • The Sympathizer
  • Paper Girls, Vol. 2
  • Rabbit Foot Bill
  • The Residence
  • The Amber Spyglass
  • Breaking the Ocean: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Reconciliation
  • Spring Garden
  • Golden Son (Red Rising Saga, #2)
  • The Lies That Bind
  • Rodham
See similar books…

Related Articles

What will you do when it's your turn to pick your book club's next read? Well, this is what you won't do: panic. Why not? Because we've dug...
87 likes · 19 comments