Grief Cottage: Book summary and reviews of Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin

Grief Cottage

by Gail Godwin

Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin X
Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2017
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

The haunting tale of a desolate cottage, and the hair-thin junction between this life and the next, from bestselling National Book Award finalist Gail Godwin.

After his mother's death, eleven-year-old Marcus is sent to live on a small South Carolina island with his great aunt, a reclusive painter with a haunted past. Aunt Charlotte, otherwise a woman of few words, points out a ruined cottage, telling Marcus she had visited it regularly after she'd moved there thirty years ago because it matched the ruin of her own life. Eventually she was inspired to take up painting so she could capture its utter desolation.

The islanders call it "Grief Cottage," because a boy and his parents disappeared from it during a hurricane fifty years before. Their bodies were never found and the cottage has stood empty ever since. During his lonely hours while Aunt Charlotte is in her studio painting and keeping her demons at bay, Marcus visits the cottage daily, building up his courage by coming ever closer, even after the ghost of the boy who died seems to reveal himself. Full of curiosity and open to the unfamiliar and uncanny given the recent upending of his life, he courts the ghost boy, never certain whether the ghost is friendly or follows some sinister agenda.

Grief Cottage is the best sort of ghost story, but it is far more than that - an investigation of grief, remorse, and the memories that haunt us. The power and beauty of this artful novel wash over the reader like the waves on a South Carolina beach.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

BookBrowse Review
"Grief Cottage is very atmospheric: a South Carolina island with a haunted cottage where a family was swept away by a hurricane. However, the rhythm of the young narrator's languid summer days becomes tedious, and his level of self-awareness seems out of sync with his young age (11) and fragile mental state. 3 stars." - Rebecca Foster

Others Say
"Starred Review. Godwin's forceful prose captivates with the quiet, renewing power of a persistent tide." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Godwin's riveting and wise story of the slow coalescence of trust and love between a stoic artist and a grieving boy ... Word will spread quickly about Godwin's tender and spellbinding supernatural novel." - Booklist

"Marcus' fascination with the ghostly presence of an adolescent boy, thought to have perished at Grief Cottage in a hurricane, allows Godwin to explore themes of loss, connection, and growth unfettered by the corporeal world." - Kirkus

"Can the needs of the living and dead sometimes merge? Eleven-year-old Marcus's desire to believe so leads him, and us, on a harrowing and unforgettable journey toward an answer. Grief Cottage further confirms that Gail Godwin is one of our country's very finest novelists." - Ron Rash, author of The Risen and Above the Waterfall

"No one writes about the psychological weight of the human condition like Gail Godwin. In Grief Cottage Godwin is able to conjure on the page what few of us can conjure in our minds: the implications of loss and time and what it means to be haunted by both." - Wiley Cash, New York Times bestselling author of This Dark Road to Mercy and A Land More Kind Than Home

This information about Grief Cottage shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Gail Godwin Author Biography

© John Kleinhans

Gail Godwin is a three-time National Book Award nominee and the bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels, including A Mother and Two Daughters, Violet Clay, Father Melancholy's Daughter, Evensong, The Good Husband, Evenings at Five, The Making of a Writer, Volumes 1 and 2, Unfinished Desires and Flora.

She worked briefly as a reporter for the Miami Herald, and then traveled to Europe and worked for the U.S. Travel Service at the U.S. Embassy in London. She returned to the U.S. after six years, and attended the University of Iowa, earning her M.A. (1968) from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and PhD (1971) in English Literature.

She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant for both fiction and libretto writing, and the Award in Literature from...

... Full Biography
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Link to Gail Godwin's Website

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  • Flora jacket
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