Sally's Reviews > The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton
The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton
Mar 14, 2019
I enjoy Wharton’s descriptive powers and the way that she creates menacing atmosphere. That said, she creates the situation for these ghost stories, some set in in New England, other in England or France, but doesn’t seem to know how to end them. They usually just peter out. In about half of them the appearance of the ghost seems connected to some sort of mental breakdown. The historical “Kerfol” is one of the more successful since it combines a contemporary person visiting an old house with the purpose of buying it, and meeting spectral dogs who represent the oppressive situation of an earlier inhabitant whose jealous husband kept killing the dogs that keep her company. “Miss Mary Pask” has a great conclusion, as a woman visits the sister of a friend of hers in a small French village, before realizing that she heard that the sister had died. Sometimes the ghosts are reminders of misfortunes from the past—a dead wife, a cheated partner—who have come to claim what’s rightfully theirs, whether that causes trauma or death. Okay for passing the time.
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March 14, 2019 – Shelved
March 14, 2019 – Finished Reading