Puccini's Ghosts: Book summary and reviews of Puccini's Ghosts by Morag Joss

Puccini's Ghosts

by Morag Joss

Puccini's Ghosts
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2006
    384 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A haunting, harrowing masterpiece of psychological suspense. With equal parts subtlety and menace, Joss takes us on a dizzying journey toward a collision between fantasy and reality – and an astounding moment of revelation that shatters illusions, hopes, and lives forever.

The year is 1960. The place is a Scottish seaside town utterly devoid of culture and charm. Here, Lila lives as the third player in her parents’ dramatically embittered marriage. Until her flamboyant, irrepressible uncle George shows up from London and her family decides to squander a windfall on the most preposterous of causes: a civic production of the Puccini opera Turandot.

Masterfully paced and spellbinding till its final, haunting scene, Puccini’s Ghosts is a piercing look into the fierce darkness that lurks behind seemingly ordinary lives.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Despite a cast of expertly drawn characters, each unhappy in his or her own way, the plot is slow to develop." - Publishers Weekly.

"The author's richly detailed backdrop and memorable characterizations pull readers into the sad novel, which gradually spins out into a wrenching, sharply delineated climax." - Booklist.

"Morag Joss has written a world-class creeper in Puccini's Ghosts Unrequited love, flattened artistic ambition, the passionate naiveté of adolescence -- these elements intertwine in Joss's novel, exerting a stranglehold on the main characters. This is not a novel for young readers; indeed, anyone under 30 should be prohibited from buying it and directed, instead, to the more upbeat sections of the bookstore (home improvement, New Age spirituality, the coffee bar). For the message of Joss's memory tale is that sometimes the stupid mistakes you make when you're very young do wreck things, forever. Sometimes there is no second chance, no scurrying back to trod the path not taken." - The Washington Post.

"Moving back and forth in time from 1960 to the present, the narrative fills the reader with a sense of impending doom long before the characters suspect anything is wrong. Recommended for all public libraries." - Library Journal.

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Author Information

Morag Joss Author Biography

Morag Joss grew up on the west coast of Scotland. Her first Sara Selkirk novel, Funeral Music, was nominated by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association for the Dilys Award for the year's favorite mystery. Her fourth novel, Half Broken Things, won the 2003 CWA Silver Dagger Award. She received the Edgar Allan Poe Award for The Night Following. She is the author of eight novels. Morag lives in rural Hampshire, in the south of England, in a converted stable.

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