Over the last two years, as I have tried to tease out the truths from the untruths in that series of events that seeped out through Elizabeth's death, like lava moving upwards and outwards through salt water from a tear in the seabed, I have had to be you several times, Cameron Brown, in order to claw myself towards some kind of coherence. Sometimes it was--is--easy to imagine the world through your eyes, terribly possible to imagine walking through the garden that afternoon in those moments before you found your mother's body in the river. After all, for a long time, all that time we were lovers, it was difficult to tell where your skin ended and mine began. That was part of the trouble for Lydia Brooke and Cameron Brown. Lack of distance became--imperceptibly--a violent entanglement.
So this is for you, Cameron, and yes, it is also for me, Lydia Brooke, because perhaps, in putting all these pieces together properly, I will be able to step out from your skin and back into mine.
from chapter one, page five, Ghostwalk
The book mentioned in the previous post is titled Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott, and --good news-- I have finally finished it and am now submitting this review for your approval. Stott is an English writer, as in from England where she lives and works at Anglia Ruskin University. The book takes place in Cambridge, England.
Animal rights groups, animal experimentation, Isaac Newton and alchemy all play big roles in this novel and end up being interconnected within the plot; it all makes for one very complicated story. Famed historian Elizabeth has been working, researching, obsessing and writing a controversial, groundbreaking Isaac Newton biography for about a decade. Then she is found by her son, Cameron, mysteriously drowned in a river before she can finish the book's last chapters and submit it for publication. In the aftermath of his mother's death, Cameron hires his former lover, Lydia, an author and screenwriter, to ghostwrite the last chapters of Elizabeth's Newton biography and ready it for publication. He offers Lydia access to his mother's home, The Studio, and all of her papers and research to complete the job. Before long it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems when strange light patterns and inexplicable events occur at both The Studio and in the Cambridge area. These inexplicable happenings hint at the very complicated and tangled nature of Elizabeth's death and her work and how these are entangled and connected to the distant events shrouded by history of Newton's seventeenth century Cambridge and present day Cambridge in which a battle of wills has erupted into violence between animal rights activists and animal experimentation laboratories.
The words complicated, cryptic, deliberately ambiguous all describe this novel; it is also beautifully written. The reader struggles along with the narrator, Lydia, to recount and connect the jagged pieces of the story into some semblance of an explanation for the inexplicable events that ultimately throw her life into shambles. Part historical novel, part supernatural/science fiction mystery thriller, you'll be sucked in by the writer's way of stringing words together; in the end you'll realize that ultimately this is a love story entangled among the complications of life and the physics that govern this world.
I highly recommend you read this book. It available upon request from Myerstown Community Library.
--Reviewed by Ms. Angie