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Homebody: A Novel (edition 1999)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061093998, Mass Market Paperback)This romantic ghost story relies on a familiar horror backbone: a stranger with a tragic past moves into an old house that also has a tragic past, and is forced to reckon with the supernatural forces that dwell there. In Homebody, the stranger is an itinerant architect-builder who makes a lonely living by purchasing fixer-uppers, renovating them, and selling them. The house he buys in Greensboro, North Carolina, (where Orson Scott Card lives, in real life) has three mysteries attached to it: a tunnel in the basement, an attractive female squatter who refuses to leave, and a trio of weird doomsayers who live next door.
Card has a clear, well-honed writing style, full of human warmth--a style that is especially effective in the development of the central character, and in details of tools and techniques for renovating an old house. His approach to murder, danger, and threatening forces is so free of closeness or oppression that one might call it "anti-gothic." In an interview, he said, "I am completely uninterested in exploring evil. Evil (and weak and wicked) people are all evil (or weak, or wicked) in the same boring ways. But good people are infinitely interesting in the ways they manage to be good despite all the awful circumstances of their lives."
Homebody is a pleasant tale about the triumph of love over evil, with a couple of bizarre twists to give it spice. (Hint: don't read the Kirkus Review if you want to keep the plot a surprise.) --Fiona Webster
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:46:50 -0500)
In a house he is restoring, builder Don Lark meets a woman squatter who turns out to be a ghost. But Sylvie Delaney does not realize she is a ghost, thinking she is alive. Lark learns she was murdered and goes searching for the killer. As he sinks his teeth into his new project, Lark's new neighborhood starts to work its charms on him. He strikes up a romance with the real estate agent who sold him the house. His neighbors, two charming, chatty old ladies, ply him endlessly with delicious Southern cooking. Even Sylvie, the squatter Lark was once desperate to evict from the old house, is now growing on him. But when Lark unearths an old tunnel in the cellar, the house's enchantments start to turn ominous.
(summary from another edition)
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