Michael Hartford

writer, photographer, programmer, dad

Tag: ghosts

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Family members converge on a house in Upstate New York upon the death of Richard Walker, their secrets and disappointments mingling with those of the ghosts of two of the house’s former residents, and of a girl who has gone missing from Boston.

It took me about 100 pages to get into this book because the characters were initially so sad, defeated, and in some way repulsive; there was a great deal of moping and whining, a fair amount of self-destructive behavior, but not in any way that seemed interesting or enlightening. After the initial slog, though, the story and interest started to pick up with the arrival of a mysterious teen-aged girl, and of a third mysterious ghost; surprising convergences in the characters’ histories started to arise, and their various stories began to come to a more dramatic head.

The final coincidences were a bit much for my normally pretty forgiving suspension of disbelief, and a few things were tied up just a bit too neatly, but there were some thought-provoking ideas and a handful of interesting character moments that made this book worth finishing.

Personal Shopper

Maureen is working in Paris as a personal shopper for a celebrity model and waiting to receive contact from beyond the grave from her recently dead twin brother. She starts to receive mysterious text messages from an unknown sender, encouraging her to become someone else.

This is an interesting movie that tiptoes back and forth over the ghost story genre line, as much a story about grief as about entities from the afterlife. It’s subtle and ambiguous, and though there are some truly scary moments (the scene in Kyra’s apartment is wonderfully tense) it’s one of the quieter ghost stories I’ve seen.

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