When she was a boy, Jennifer Finney Boylan grew up with ghosts. Her family's Victorian house, crumbling among the impeccable and impressive digs populating the Pennsylvania Main Line, also housed a number of spectral residents who had met unfortunate, sorrowful ends. A sensitive and slight boy, James Boylan resigned himself to cohabitating with the resident ghosts and their door-slammings, wall-whisperings, and flashes in the mirror with a sensible mix of terror, curiosity, sympathy, and humor. Which is kind of how Boylan related to himself.
Back then I knew very little for certain about whatever it was that afflicted me, but I did know this much: that in order to survive, I'd have to become something like a ghost myself, and keep the nature of my true self hidden. And so I haunted that young body of mine just as the spirits haunted the Coffin House, ...
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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