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The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie…
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The Ghost of the Mary Celeste

by Valerie Martin

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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this story alot. It inspired me to read up on the mystery of the Mary Celeste and makes you truly care about the family involved. ( )
  michallibrarything | Jan 6, 2018 |
"The Ghost of the Mary Celeste" was in the beginning just a touch frustrating. The story unfolds in a series of, at first, seemingly unconnected tales. It may just be my reading, but it took me some time to see how each story wove into the next - even with the Mary Celeste ghosting through each. But as the story progressed I became more and more fascinated as everything fell into place. So patience is rewarded. Definitely this one is worthy of a second read. And I am now on the hunt for Valerie Martin's other books! ( )
  musecure | Dec 22, 2017 |
In 1872, the Mary Celeste was found adrift in the ocean, with no trace of the crew and passengers. Despite the title, this book isn’t solely about the mystery of the Mary Celeste. The author takes this historical event and weaves multiple storylines loosely connected to it. It’s very well-written and captured perfectly the atmosphere of the times.

The mystery of the Mary Celeste is interwoven with the Spiritualism movement, at its height in the mid-to-latter nineteenth-century. There is a sense of death and loss throughout the book, and the very real dangers of life at sea are explored. The author imagines the family of the Mary Celeste’s captain, including a relative who has psychic powers. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote a short story about the Mary Celeste, makes an appearance. The focus of a large part of the book follows the life of a famous psychic of the times.

This is historical fiction at it’s best. There’s quite a lot going on but the author’s skill makes it all work. I found it fascinating and it led me to do a little reading on the side about the Mary Celeste and the Spiritualist movement.
( )
1 vote janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
Something of a disappointment. I have long been intrigued by the mystery of the Mary Celeste, but this novel is just too all-over-the-place to make for very interesting reading. Martin's idea of tying in Arthur Conan Doyle and spiritualism wasn't bad, but it's not carried off very well.

Skippable, alas. ( )
  JBD1 | Feb 27, 2016 |
A mystery unsolved to this day

A mystic who confounds the cynics

A writer looking for the story that will make his name

A ghost ship appears in the mist. To the struggling author Arthur Conan Doyle, it is an inspiration. To Violet Petra, the gifted American psychic, it is a cruel reminder. To the death-obsessed Victorian public, it is a fascinating distraction. And to one family, tied to the sea for generations, it is a tragedy.

In salons and on rough seas, at séances and in the imagination of a genius, these stories converge in unexpected ways as the mystery of the ghost ship deepens. But will the sea yield its secrets, and to whom? Intricate, atmospheric, and endlessly intriguing, The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is a spellbinding exploration of love, loss and the fictions that pass as truth.


Fabulous storytelling that blends fact and fiction to produce a compelling and entertaining tale.

The narrative is made up of letters, diaries and log of the Mary Celeste itself. You might not get answers to the enigma of the Mary Celeste but you will experience a haunting novel of death and impending doom dazzlingly written. ( )
  jan.fleming | Nov 9, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Why does the sea moan evermore?
Shut out from heaven it makes it moan.
It frets against the boundary shore;
All earth's full rivers cannot fill
The sea, that drinking thirsteth still.
CHRISTINA ROSSETTI
Dedication
For Adrienne Martin,
who knows how we hope
First words
The captain and his wife were asleep in each other's arms.
Quotations
Her small collection of books had been scattered widely, as if an impatient reader, pacing the carpet in search of some vital information, had thrown down volume after volume.
Then it paused, and for an excruciating moment in which no one spoke and all were suspended in a soundless void, it was as if the universe itself drew in and held a startled breath.
With the first breach of the bulwarks she was knocked off her feet and hurled facedown onto the deck, where like a pin before a ball in a ten-pin alley, she was summarily rolled into the scuppers.
As the sea rose and fell, both ships were pushed and pulled deeper and deeper in a fatal embrace from which there was no escape.
The panic of the collision was over and now the business of the sailor tribe, whose god was the sea, was to accept the verdict of their deity and prepare their ship for sacrifice.
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Book description
Haiku summary
Tales of love and loss,
connected by the ghost of
the Mary Celeste.
(passion4reading)
The Mary Celeste:
maritime mystery still –
don't expect answers.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385533500, Hardcover)

A captivating, atmospheric return to historical fiction that is every bit as convincing and engrossing as Martin's landmark Mary Reilly.

In 1872 the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found.

This maritime mystery lies at the center of an intricate narrative branching through the highest levels of late-nineteenth-century literary society. While on a voyage to Africa, a rather hard-up and unproven young writer named Arthur Conan Doyle hears of the Mary Celeste and decides to write an outlandish short story about what took place. This story causes quite a sensation back in the United States, particularly between sought-after Philadelphia spiritualist medium Violet Petra and a rational-minded journalist named Phoebe Grant, who is seeking to expose Petra as a fraud. Then there is the family of the Mary Celeste's captain, a family linked to the sea for generations and marked repeatedly by tragedy. Each member of this ensemble cast holds a critical piece to the puzzle of the Mary Celeste.

These three elements—a ship found sailing without a crew, a famous writer on the verge of enormous success, and the rise of an unorthodox and heretical religious fervor—converge in unexpected ways, in diaries, in letters, in safe harbors and rough seas. In a haunted, death-obsessed age, a ghost ship appearing in the mist is by turns a provocative mystery, an inspiration to creativity, and a tragic story of the disappearance of a family and of a bond between husband and wife that, for one moment, transcends the impenetrable barrier of death.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:16 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"A captivating, atmospheric return to historical fiction that is every bit as convincing and engrossing as Martin's landmark Mary Reilly. In 1872 the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found. This maritime mystery lies at the center of an intricate narrative branching through the highest levels of late- nineteenth-century literary society. While on a voyage to Africa, a rather hard-up and unproven young writer named Arthur Conan Doyle hears of the Mary Celeste and decides to write an outlandish short story about what took place. This story causes quite a sensation back in the United States, particularly between sought-after Philadelphia spiritualist medium Violet Petra and a rational-minded journalist named Phoebe Grant, who is seeking to expose Petra as a fraud. Then there is the family of the Mary Celeste's captain, a family linked to the sea for generations and marked repeatedly by tragedy. Each member of this ensemble cast holds a critical piece to the puzzle of the Mary Celeste. These three elements--a ship found sailing without a crew, a famous writer on the verge of enormous success, and the rise of an unorthodox and heretical religious fervor--converge in unexpected ways, in diaries, in letters, in safe harbors and rough seas. In a haunted, death-obsessed age, a ghost ship appearing in the mist is by turns a provocative mystery, an inspiration to creativity, and a tragic story of the disappearance of a family and of a bond between husband and wife that, for one moment, transcends the impenetrable barrier of death."--… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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