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October 2016: Historical Fiction > The Ghost of the Mary Celeste - 3 stars

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message 1: by anarresa (new)

anarresa | 283 comments The Ghost of the Mary Celeste
By Valerie Martin
3 stars

The ship Mary Celeste was found empty and adrift in the late 1800s. The mystery of what happened to the crew intrigued the English-speaking world for a few months, then faded. Years later Arthur Conan Doyle, working as a ship’s doctor, is inspired to write a little story based on the mystery. Once published the story makes its way slowly to America where journalist Phoebe Grant enjoys reading it over an afternoon. The medium calling herself Violet Petra does not enjoy the story, she was once close to the captain and his wife. As years pass the lives of these three intertwine, mixing with the ghosts of their past and the ghosts of the Mary Celeste.

The characters are what hold this book together, the plot and even setting seem to be of secondary concern to the author. Full of personal and external ghosts this book is certainly mysterious, but it is not a mystery in the usual sense of the genre. There is no crime, investigation and conclusion. I’m a fan of stories so I had trouble getting into this book, but the characters were intriguing and I needed to finish, just slowly. Fans of characters will probably enjoy this book more.


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6640 comments Hmmm, I like character driven books so that catches my attention. Never have heard of the Mary Celeste, but how scary is that premise - - just an empty ship floating around?


message 3: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8813 comments Anita, there have been a few of those (empty ships floating around). I just finished Ghost Ships: True Stories of Nautical Nightmares, Hauntings, and Disasters and there are plenty of creepy stories like that!


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