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Grief Cottage: A Novel by Gail Godwin
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Grief Cottage: A Novel

by Gail Godwin

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It's a cross between a ghost story and a psychological thriller. Marcus...the 11 years old is years ahead of the average 11 year old. The aunt that took him in that had never met him but was his only living relative...was a mixture of hardy common sense, heartwarming sensitivity to a grieving child...a bit of downright strangeness. The little boy ghost was also a philosophical little soul. These characters all come together to form a story that is tender, sad, and hopeful . ( )
  Carol420 | Oct 15, 2017 |
I've read Gail Godwin off and on for many years. I need to stay more on top of her publications. Loved this book. Fell in love with Marcus and wanted to give him an "hysterical" hug when finished. Top 2 books read so far this year. ( )
  Alphawoman | Oct 6, 2017 |
I had high hopes for this book but it left a lot to be desired. While I enjoyed the setting and the interaction between the characters, I found the plot, what little there was of one, totally unengaging. I expected this to be a story where several people, living and otherwise, came together at some final crisis point, and faced down the fears and insecurities that had plagued them and left them emotionally paralyzed. That didn't happen. SPOILERS BELOW
Charlotte's idea of facing her demons it was essentially just telling Marcus that he was a smart boy who could figure it out. The long-expected climactic encounter between Marcus and Johnny Mace that would help both of them put the past behind them and move on left a lot to be desired. Ah well.

I also agree about the visit to Wheezer. I got the impression that the author finished the book and then someone pointed out that she had left several loose ends unresolved. ( )
  Unkletom | Oct 5, 2017 |
Godwin tries her hand at a ghost story here, although the metaphorical ghosts of family overshadow the actual supernatural presence. After the death of his mother, 11-year-old Marcus has gone to live in a ramshackle beach house with his great aunt Charlotte, an eccentric, alcoholic artist. He arrives there in summer with lots of time on his hand, and he passes much of that time at Grief Cottage, the abandoned site of a tragedy, and he meets and bonds with the ghost of a young teenage boy. Marcus is mourning his mother and uncertain of his status in his new household.

The tone of the book is soft, gentle, elegiac. Most of the characters are sympathetic and well drawn. The biggest flaw in the novel, for me, is that Marcus is not at all believable as an 11-year-old. Godwin's child characters are often precocious, but in this case it was almost impossible for me to suspend disbelief in Marcus as a kid. It was easier to believe in the ghost. Still, I recommend the book for its interesting premise and its emotional depth. ( )
  CasualFriday | Sep 1, 2017 |
This book was near the top of my TBR list for 6/6/17, however, it was my last one to read. Why, the title. I kept looking at it and putting it off, because I was in the mood for an upbeat book. This didn't seem to be one. Why, the title.

However when I did open the book to read, I found it slow moving in several places. There was a huge saving grace, Marcus, I loved this little man! He talked so grown up and acted the same way and he was only 11 years old. The author did a great job developing and staying true to his character. His obsession with the "ghost boy" had him doing some crazy things and was the basis of most of the book. As well as, taking care of his Aunt Charlotte which was a heck of a job. The aunt was rather crusty, but did mellow over the year.

As I said, slow, but Marcus does save this book. He's someone you love to get to know.

Thanks to Bloomsbury and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley to read in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion. ( )
  debkrenzer | Jun 6, 2017 |
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