What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

Instead of Three Wishes: Magical Short Stories
This topic is about Instead of Three Wishes
SOLVED: Children's/YA > Ghosts and suicide, houses and building them and tearing them down. [s]

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message 1: by N. (new)

N. Anderson (NTAnderson) | 4 comments Hello everyone!

I'm remembering a book (possibly novelette or short story, could be in a collection) that I read a little while back, about 3.5 years ago, give or take a year. It starts out telling about a man starting a job (working a crane, I think) with a construction company. The current project is atop a hill (building something large, like a skyscraper). As he gets used to the work, one day he is distracted when he thinks he sees something. His coworker doesn't see anything, so he decides he just imagined it. Later on, through some form or fashion, he meets the "thing" he saw, the ghost of a girl who had lived in a house that used to stand on the hill. As they become acquaintances, though the man is almost sure he is just delusional, he learns about the life of the girl. She and her family had lived in a house, a mansion, on the hill, and when asked to move, and sell the land so that the house could be torn down and have something built in its place, they refuse. The family is not by any means willing to let the house be destroyed. Over several days, maybe weeks, the man becomes friends with the girl, and talks with her every lunch break. As he eats and she talks, he learns that the family took their wish to the grave. Now all their ghosts are restless, haunting the place where the new building is taking shape. He also finds that they, as ghosts, are stuck with only what they died with, not having anything else (or something like that). Eventually, the man decides to give his life in order to be with the girl, and bring her and her family rest. One day he comes to work carrying a bundle of things to give the family that they don't have, including chocolate, something the girl especially wants, and during his lunch, he drinks coffee laced with cyanide. He dies there, at which point the story ends.

I hope that that's enough to really help, and since I'm clueless as to how to go about finding this, I will do the best I can at remembering any other details. If I may be able to answer any questions I'd be more than happy to. I'm ready to do whatever I can to help find this book. I appreciate all input, and look forward to responses. Thank you!

message 2: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) Was the book or story aimed at children, teens, or adults? Do you think it might have been much older, like maybe it was in a collection of 'classic' sf or horror? Do you think that you may have read it for school or from the library? Do you remember anything about the cover; were there illustrations?

Miriam | 681 comments Oh, I think I read this -- it was a short story in an adult anthology.

Goge (BARRONS) le Moning Maniac, | 258 comments Oh wow.. I gotta find this one. I'll get back to you!

message 5: by N. (last edited Oct 05, 2012 12:03AM) (new)

N. Anderson (NTAnderson) | 4 comments Teens and adults, considering the content more than my memory, and yes, it definitely could be very old. I can't remember any sort of cover and I'm pretty sure it had no illustrations. It was a paperback, though, if memory serves me right. I doubt it was from a school library.

I had the impression it was somehow important, like from a well-known author or highly recommended.

Thank you all. :D

message 6: by N. (new)

N. Anderson (NTAnderson) | 4 comments Miriam wrote: "Oh, I think I read this -- it was a short story in an adult anthology." That sounds about right, I may remember being slightly confused because it was the first time I had dealt with short story collections.

Abigail (Handmaiden) | 383 comments You are looking for the short story "Factory," which is in Instead of Three Wishes: Magical Short Stories, by Megan Whalen Turner. I know because I read it this summer.

These two quotes are from it, though they were not tagged as such:


message 8: by N. (new)

N. Anderson (NTAnderson) | 4 comments That's sounds like it, and Megan Whalen Turner makes sense, I own a few of her books. Thanks so much! :D

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