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Puccini's Ghosts by Morag Joss
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Puccini's Ghosts (2007)

by Morag Joss

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i found this book to be very well written and i think the author did a great job of evoking a creepy, sad and dysfunctional mood. usually that works for me, but i couldn't wait for the book to end. i think the only reason i finished it was to find out what horrible thing befell the family, b/c it was clear something did. there was such buildup, i suppose the ending couldn't help but be a disappointment. also, i found the style to be mostly introspective, and that became wearying after awhile. ( )
  kathy_h | Feb 11, 2008 |
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Epigraph
'Convent Garden was haunted last night. It was haunted by the gentle and immaculate ghost of Puccini...who died with the final bars of Turandot still imprisoned within his brain, who disappeared to solve an enigma more terrible and profound than any created by the Princess Turandot. We like to think that Puccini revisited the glimpses of the moon last night to observe the opera's performance in England, where his works are so universally cherished, to watch his tricksy spirits at their revels. We imagined him pleased with the magnificent production and the sensation it created.'

Daily Express, 8 June 1927
Dedication
Puccini's Ghosts
is for
Sue Chilcott
8 July 1963 - 4 September 2003

whose life, music and friendship inspired me in many ways although not creation any of characters or events in the story, which are entirely imagined.
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Now I'm here I begin to sense the trouble I'm in.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385340907, Paperback)

CWA Silver Dagger Award winner Morag Joss peers into the soul of a wounded family in this haunting, harrowing masterpiece of psychological suspense. With equal parts subtlety and menace, Joss takes us on a dizzying journey toward a collision between fantasy and reality—and an astounding moment of revelation that shatters illusions, hopes, and lives forever.

The year is 1960. The place is a Scottish seaside town utterly devoid of culture and charm. Here, Lila lives as the third player in her parents’ dramatically embittered marriage. Until her flamboyant, irrepressible uncle George shows up from London and her family decides to squander a windfall on the most preposterous of causes: a civic production of the Puccini opera Turandot.

Lila knows nothing of opera and little of her uncle or the dashing young man he hires to sing the role of Calaf. But Lila does know passion. Because it’s coursing through her veins—and rushing blindly, wildly all around her. Now a girl on the verge of womanhood is about to blunder into a grown-up world where secrets are kept and exposed, hopes soar and wither, and where crimes petty and great exact the most chilling punishments of all.

Masterfully paced and spellbinding till its final, haunting scene, Puccini’s Ghosts is a piercing look into the fierce darkness that lurks behind seemingly ordinary lives.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:15 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

During the summer of 1960, fifteen-year-old Lila escapes the confines of school and her mother's hysterics to spend the summer with her uncle George, a music teacher preparing to stage a Puccini opera in Burnhead, on the west coast of Scotland.

» see all 2 descriptions

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