Lorna Graham’s Ghost Story

Take a young, charming and somewhat naïve young lady from Ohio, place her in an “affordable” apartment in Greenwich Village, and add a male ghost who is obsessed with writing a book.  This you would expect to be a winning formula for a romantic story similar to the classic novel The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1945).  At least that is what I expected. 

The Ghost of Greenwich Village (New York:  Ballantine Books, 2011) is Ms. Lorna Graham’s first novel.  She is an accomplished writer, having written for television, major newspapers and magazines.  The challenge for Ms. Graham is to make the transition from writing prose to writing fiction.  They are two very different genres. 

The idea, or plot, behind this novel is one that has promise.  However, I found it started slowly and never picked up speed.  Frankly, I felt it was rather dull. 

Perhaps what bothered me most is the ghost, Donald, who comes with the apartment.  Our principle character, Eve Weldon, cannot actually see Donald.  Neither can she hear him.  Somehow Donald communicates with Eve telepathically, that is, in her mind.  What kind of ghost is that?  I kept thinking that what Eve needed was a psychiatrist.

Eve Weldon is searching for something of the Greenwich Village experienced by her mother, who lived there during the mythical sixties.  But, even a third of the way into the story, I found nothing of what I imagine the Village to have been like during the sixties.  Although I never lived in Greenwich Village, I did experience the sixties as a college student.  Ms. Graham did not succeed in transporting me back to that era. 

I am not sure who the right audience is for The Ghost of Greenwich Village.  Perhaps people who live there will find it interesting.  As for me, I prefer rereading The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

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