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The Ghost Orchid

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  2,889 Ratings  ·  275 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
Paperback, 350 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Ballantine (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.

Community Reviews

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Tabitha Vohn
Apr 28, 2015 Tabitha Vohn rated it really liked it
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 Brooke 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
Jamie Stanley
May 06, 2012 Jamie Stanley rated it it was amazing
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!
Felisa Rosa
Mar 18, 2010 Felisa Rosa rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 - ...more
Dec 09, 2008 Ameerah rated it did not like it
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 Kristi rated it liked it
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.
Mar 23, 2015 Jenny 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)
Aug 14, 2009 Robin 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
Dec 08, 2010 JackieB 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 Cora Lockhart rated it it was amazing
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 Rebecca rated it really liked it
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 Goodman wasn't a
Aug 05, 2011 Anne rated it it was ok

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.
May 16, 2015 Jessica 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 detail after seeing Bat
Mar 06, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 11, 2007 Meika rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 14, 2010 Greta rated it it was ok
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.
Mar 25, 2009 Britni rated it it was ok
It's an okay book if you want a little scare with some mystery thrown in. I don't recommend it, however, if you are looking for something to invoke any level of critical thinking or problem solving. It's on the same level as the horror movie with the girl running through the woods in stilettos.
Jul 29, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok
didn't care for this book at all. Thought there were too many characters and they didn't all come together well. Also it was a pretty lame ghost story that just didn't make much sense. I have read other books by her and I liked them but this one I pretty much hated.
Sep 09, 2012 Debra rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 01, 2016 Miranda rated it liked it
2.5 stars.
May 05, 2010 Laurie rated it really liked it
Summed up:

Wild, albeit at times claustrophobic gardens, an alternating past and present, perfection of pacing and seductively creepy. Excellent read.
Nov 15, 2016 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: library
I started listening to this on audio book. It's in two different time periods following two different women, one a contemporary author who's at an artist's/writer's retreat and one a spiritualist/medium at the time the retreat was in it's infancy. There were some spooky elements and some intriguing storylines, but I just couldn't find myself buying into any of the characters. This was a did not finish for me.
Jun 20, 2017 Joyce rated it liked it
I enjoy Carol Goodman's books but find the endings to be very confusing. This was no exception.
Rachel Danielle Schiavone
May 20, 2017 Rachel Danielle Schiavone rated it really liked it
Read this!!!

Especially for a fan of "Jane Eyre"! Akin to "The Thirteenth Tale" and "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane"!!! And if you enjoy movies like "Premonition" and/or "The Haunting"!

Katelyn (Lost as Alice, Mad as the Hatter)
3.5 stars I did really like this book.

The setting is at a 100 year old artist's least in present day. The book hops between the two time periods: present day and a hundred years ago when a child went missing and many other children died. There are quite definitely two stories going on in this novel.

One hundred years ago, a family lived in the manor whose lives where mired in murder and deceit. A grieving mother and manipulative father (or is it truly the other way around...)contriv
Feb 10, 2014 Addie rated it it was ok
The pacing in the first half of the book was far too slow for me. I expected to really enjoy the book and I nearly abandoned it. Once I crossed the half way point it picked up quite a bit and I found it much more enjoyable but I'm on the fence as to whether to give Carol Goodman another shot. Reading the descriptions of many of her books I expected to be a quick fan but I am a bit reluctant to plod through another if it starts out at a similar pace.
Below is the reader advisory I wrote for this b
Marne Wilson
When I started this novel, I only knew that it was about a writers' retreat in upstate New York. I was expecting something literary, and the writing certainly was on that level, but midway through it turned into a novel of romantic suspense in the vein of Mary Stewart. I really like that kind of book, so it was fine with me, but I was surprised nonetheless.

Goodman is a fine writer, and her descriptions of nature are first-rate. My only objection is that she hits the novel's recurring motifs (whi
Midnyte Reader
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Carol Goodman is the author of The Lake of Dead Languages, The Seduction of Water, the Watchtower Trilogy(with husband Lee Slonimsky), and the young adult Blythewood series. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Greensboro Review, Literal Latte, The Midwest Quarterly, and Other Voices. After graduation from Vassar College, where she majored in Latin, she taught Latin for several years in A ...more
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