A Cambridge historian, Elizabeth Vogelsang, is found drowned, clutching a
glass prism in her hand. The book she was writing about Isaac Newtons
involvement with alchemythe culmination of her lifelong obsession with the
seventeenth centuryremains unfinished. When her son, Cameron, asks his former
lover, Lydia Brooke, to ghostwrite the missing final chapters of his mothers
book, Lydia agrees and moves into Elizabeths housea studio in an orchard where
the light moves restlessly across the walls. Soon Lydia discovers that the
shadow of violence that has fallen across present-day Cambridge, which escalates
to a series of murders, may have its origins in the troubling evidence that
Elizabeths research has unearthed. As Lydia becomes ensnared in a dangerous
conspiracy that reawakens ghosts of the past, the seventeenth century slowly
seeps into the twenty-first, with the city of Cambridge the bridge between them.
Filled with evocative descriptions of Cambridge, past and present, of seventeenth-century glassmaking, alchemy, the Great Plague, and Newtons scientific innovations, Ghostwalk centers around a real historical mystery that Rebecca Stott has uncovered involving Newtons alchemy. In it, time and relationships are entangledthe present with the seventeenth century, and figures from the past with the love-torn twenty-first century woman who is trying to discover their secrets. A stunningly original display of scholarship and imagination, and a gripping story of desire and obsession, Ghostwalk is a rare debut that will change the way most of us think about scientific innovation, the force of history, and time itself.
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 wasiseasy 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
becameimperceptiblya 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...
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