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The Ghost Orchid

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  3,192 ratings  ·  299 reviews
In her enthralling novels of literary suspense, Carol Goodman writes stories that resonate with emotion set in lush landscapes that entice the senses. Now, with The Ghost Orchid, a narrative that seamlessly weaves together the past and the present, Goodman creates her most lyrical and haunting work to date.

For more than one hundred years, creative souls have traveled to U
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Vanessa Ocampo This is actually one of my favorites. It's thickly vicious and haunting. Continue reading till you find the perfect pace.
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,192 ratings  ·  299 reviews

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Tabitha Vohn
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: goth-rocks
I truly enjoy this book, and come back to it every so often. It's become my spring tradition to revisit a Goodman novel and this year I was feeling Ghost Orchid.

What's not to love? A writer's community flocking to a secluded artist commune in upstate New York. A mysterious haunted past, laced with myth and the supernatural. And of course there is Goodman's beautiful, fluid prose and lush descriptions that make her novels so enjoyable.

While it's not as dear a favorite as The Lake of Dead Langua
There is something different about listening to a story versus reading it for yourself. Sometimes those differences can be the difference between enjoying a book and not. I often have a problem with tone of voice when I'm reading. If you get the wrong tone of voice in your mind it completely changes the meaning of the written word. One of the things I like about listening to an audio book is that you don't have to figure out the tone of voice for each character, the reader does it for you. I rea ...more
Jun 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, mystery
This time around, Carol Goodman serves up a ghost story with her signature solving-mysteries-from-the-past plot. The chapters alternate between the past and the present, and I really like the way they're linked together. The setting, a mansion with a sprawling garden populated by statues and a maze, comes to life with Goodman's descriptions and the gardens almost become a character themselves.

I think The Lake of Dead Languages remains my favorite Goodman novel, but this one comes in at a close second.
Felisa Rosa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie Stanley
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-hardcover
Loved. Loved. LOVED!!!!! This book. Could not put it down for a second. Old secret gardens, old house, old status, old wealthy families. OMG loved it!
Farshana S A
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: open-lib
A past mystery, an artists retreat, a huge rambling mansion, romance,suspense and paranormal effects, doesn't it make a staple for a surefire thriller? Then Carol Goodman has essentially done that. The Ghost Orchid is an engaging thriller, there's seances, physics, ghost children, underground tunnels, fountains,statues and what not. The past comes alive thru the eyes of Cornith and in the present Ellis begins unraveling the mystery of the deaths of the children and about the actual events that t ...more
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as I was on a writing residency and it's set at a writing residency. Mine had a significantly lower quantity of sexy affairs, secret mysteries and hidden grottoes. In fact it was mostly just awkward dinner conversation, trying to time morning showers so you didn't have to pass anyone in the hall wearing a towel, staring out of windows, going for walks while trying to avoid speaking to anyone, and occasionally writing stuff. Sorry to disappoint you if you hoped writing residencies are ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid 3 Stars

Suspense/Twists: ★★★.5
Characters: ★★.5
Ending: ★★★

I thought this was a thriller and a mystery about the death of three children and the disappearance of one. It turns out to mainly be a ghost story. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the build-up does not deliver in the end. I was very invested to find out what happend to all those children?! To find the answer and think... That was it?.. All of it?

It also became quite repetitive and I really thi
The third Carol Goodman book I've read, this wasn't as good as The Lake of Dead Languages but redeemed the author in my eyes significantly after the uninspired Arcadia Falls, and it was actually more original than both. The alternate chapters moving between past and present worked well as they kept me interested in both strands of the story. I was also both surprised and pleased at the inclusion of a genuine supernatural element. I think it all dragged on a bit too much towards the end though - there were far ...more
Dec 09, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this book on the recommendation of a co-worker. I bought it used for one cent and I'm glad I didn't spend a penny more. This is not to say that the book is horrible- not by any means.It is simply that my expectation far exceeded the actual story itself. I am not a big fan of ghots mysteries which is essentially what this book is. There is not a lot of character development before you are launched into the "boo!" plotline. I didn't find myself caring about any of the characters at all. The ...more
Jul 18, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a summer read
This book is in no way a masterpiece, but its a fun summer read. It is a mix between a mystery, and some history in upstate NY. Its quick to finish and pretty entertaining.
Sujatha Reghunathan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Breanna Wilson
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Carol Goodman is definitely becoming one of my go-to authors even if her books have been up and down for me. This story contained a great mystery, beautiful scenery and atmosphere, and a great blend of Native American and Greek mythology in her standard setting of gorgeous upstate New York. I can't confirm this, but to me, it felt like this was the most personal of her novels that I've read. That is, I felt you could really feel the emotion and research poured into this story, more than ...more
3.5 out of 5 stars
Jessica Adams
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First novel I’ve read by this author .... loved it. Awesome story. Learned lots of new words. A bit creepy. Very cinematic. Can’t wait to read more
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had potential, but it was dragged down by cliched plots, mediocre writing, and not enough editing. For starters, the author is in love with metaphors and similes. I don't know when I last read a book so overflowing with them. Even the author-character in the book loves them, and gives them what I guess to be Goodman's defense, that (loosely paraphrased) metaphors are where the magic happens because they transform language. There's nothing wrong with a well-crafted metaphor, but there i ...more
Leslie Lindsay
I so wanted to like this book. Having read several other Carol Goodman titles in the past, and given that THE GHOST ORCHID had been recommended to me by other writer-reader friends, I nabbed a copy and eagerly cracked the spine. The first page or two got me. For nearly 100 years creative types have travelled to Bosco for the quiet and solitude to work on their masterpieces (which are not limited to just the literary, but also musicians). I like old houses, I like to write, and I like to get away ...more
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put this down - I'd argue this one of Goodman's best books. Maybe not as realistic fiction (this one was even more out there than others) but the pacing was well-done, and I like the interspersed chapters from 1893, most of the perspective coming from Corinth Blackwell.

The ending was a little far-fetched (view spoiler) ...more
Aug 14, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to love this book and couldn't wait to read it. When none of my local bookstores had it in stock for me to buy, I went so far as to go to the library - which is kinda rare for me, but ultimately, it was just ok. I didn't hate it, I just didn't love it or think the story was particularly interesting - it sorta reminded me of TV movies that try to be scary or creepy, but aren't really. I wish there had been more focus on a real world mystery without so much supernatural ghost / haunted ga ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For someone who does not read many ghost stories, this might be a chilling read. For me, it was predictable and cliche.

No one in this book should ever be allowed to have a hot beverage, because every time anyone holds a teacup in this book, they drop it and the cup shatters. (I highly recommend plastic “sippy” cups only.) I know, I know, the color “tea stained” is constantly used, I GET it, ok? The writing style was over-educated and downright stuffy at times. I felt like I should be circling a
Dec 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was fantastic. It's about a mansion in the USA which has been turned into a retreat for creative people. However there was a mysterious scandal involving sceances and ghosts (or maybe trickery) in the house when it was still a private house. One of the writers is writing a novel based on the scandal and that's where our story starts. This is what I would class as a gothic novel. It's not scream out loud scary but the author builds up a nicely spooky sinister atmosphere. I don't mean that go ...more
Cora Lockhart
May 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I had to choose a favorite Carol Goodman, it would be the Ghost Orchid. I'm not sure if this is because this was the first of her books that I'd ever been introduced to by my good friend, Carla, or if because the language and characters and setting were so magical that I couldn't help but be captivated. When a first-time novelist is invited to an upstate New York artists' colony, she becomes convinced that the real story lies within the gardens and underground tunnels of the Bosco estate, whe ...more
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent beach read from Carol Goodman. I've noticed she tends to repeat the same theme over and over again in her books. There's a mystery and the key always involves some kid being switched with another one at birth.

While I liked the idea of the artists colony and all the personality clashes, it seemed to drag on for a long time. Usually these gigs last weeks or at most a few months. This one appeared to go for a year. Plus there were 2 stories happening at different times and Good
May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: haunted mansion lovers
Shelves: library-book
I thought this book was lovely and creepy. I chose it as my "book based on it's cover" category for a reading challenge I'm doing. So I had no idea what it was about and it turned out to be a good pick.

I guessed what was happening about half-way through, but it was still suspenseful.

I liked how you couldn't be totally sure at first whether or not Corinths' chapters were Ellis' writing or not. Like the pearl pins, is it just a coincidence, or was Ellis inspired to use that
Anne Gerth

A light summer read shouldn't be this hard

I picked this book up in the bookstore because I was drawn to the cover design.I had never read any of Carol Goodman's books before. I wanted a quick enjoyable summer read! If I put this book down for a few days, I had to think too much to figure out where I was at in the story when I picked it back up. I found her writing technique a tad cumbersome. The book was OK, but it will not go on my great books list.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A haunting mystery, set in an artist retreat called Bosco. The story goes back and forth from present day to 1893. The orginal owners of the estate, have left the home as a artist colony. A series of very tragic events involving past visitors, keeps you guessing to the very end about what really happened so many years ago. Present day writer Ella finds herself and her fellow artists are all haunted by the past. There is romance, ghosts and lots of evil twists to the story. Very good.
Jul 14, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Entertaining enough, this book kept me occupied during a day during which I wanted no more and no less than a compelling story. While it fell short of my hopes after reading "The Lake of Dead Languages" [which I loved!:], " The Ghost Orchid" was a page turner. A bit like "The Haunting" in its sensational style and definitely melodramatic and a little predictable, still a fine ghost story.
Aug 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great Gothic style romance. The romance is part of the subplot, really, with the gothic taking center stage. The setting is brilliant... the statues in the statuary practically come to life.
This isn't a pseudo-ghost story, where the ghosts are psychological. The ghosts are tangible...the main character is a medium.
Jun 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brain-candy
I think I would have enjoyed this more if I hadn't read so many other of Carol Goodman's books. I like her writing style a lot, but the facets (Upstate NY, Water, a protagonist that is literary or an academic) is starting to wear thin on me. I long for that same level of mysticism and intrigue, but ideally with some fresh locations and types of characters
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I really liked this book and will read more by this author. I picked up at a library sale because the fly-leaf appealed to me, and am glad I did. Good pacing between the past and present plots. Very well-written.
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Carol Goodman is the author of The Lake of Dead Languages, The Seduction of Water, which won the Hammett Prize, and The Widow's House, which won the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also the co-author, with her husband Lee Slonimsky, of the Watchtower fantasy trilogy. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Greensboro Review, Literal Latte, The Midwest Quarterly, and Other Voices. After grad ...more