Sarah Ames-Foley's Reviews > Ghost Wall

Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss
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it was amazing
bookshelves: arcs, contemporary, dark-as-hell, lgbpq-women, lgbtqiap, literary-fiction, novella

This review can also be found on my blog.

4.5 stars
cw: domestic abuse
disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in a Goodreads giveaway. All of the opinions presented below are my own.

Without a house, it occurred to me, it is much harder to restrict a person’s movement. Harder for a man to restrain a woman.

→ What I Liked:

The Characters
I enjoyed how distinctly different all the characters were. Much like The Stepford Wives, the women seemed much more well-developed than the men, who had a more singular purpose. I thought Sylvie and her thoughts were well-written, and I really appreciated the relationship between her and Molly. I also loved that Sylvie was queer-coded, although that wasn’t the focus of the story at all.

The Writing
Sarah Moss is able to slowly build up such an intense feeling of dread that it’s impressive. While the story begins in a rather innocuous manner, it’s revealed bit by bit that something just isn’t quite right. This is done in a rather impressive manner and eventually leads to an emotional climax the likes of which I haven’t experienced in quite some time. I’ll admit it, I may have shed a tear or two at the last line.

Cold water wavered over my legs, stroked some of the soreness from my skin. I imagined the shame carried away like blood in the water, visible first in weedy streams, curling and flickering like smoke and then dissolving, fading, until although you know it would always be there you couldn’t see it anymore.

→ What I Didn’t Like:

The Beginning
The flip side to this subtle build is that the story is a bit of a slow burn. While short, the beginning pieces felt a bit boring to me and I had just a little difficulty getting invested. Luckily this doesn’t last for long and it is absolutely worth it to stick with it on this one.

The Style
This is one of those books that has foregone quotation marks in dialogue, which can occasionally make it a bit tricky to pick apart who is saying what. It took me a bit to get adjusted to this, which probably also contributed to my difficulty getting invested, but once I did the story flew by much more quickly.

Here I am, then. So kill me.

→ TL;DR:
Wonderful characterization
Slow emotional build, but the payoff is worth it
Writing style takes just a bit of adjusting to
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Reading Progress

July 22, 2018 – Shelved
July 22, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
December 21, 2018 – Started Reading
December 21, 2018 –
page 23
December 27, 2018 –
page 39
December 28, 2018 –
page 63
December 30, 2018 –
page 80
December 31, 2018 – Shelved as: arcs
December 31, 2018 – Shelved as: literary-fiction
December 31, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbpq-women
December 31, 2018 – Shelved as: dark-as-hell
December 31, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqiap
December 31, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
December 31, 2018 – Shelved as: novella
December 31, 2018 – Finished Reading

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