Marcus is eleven when his mother died. He lived in foster care a short time before going to live with his great-aunt in South Carolina. Aunt Charlotte is an accomplished painter, and a reclusive woman. She is the one who tells Marcus about Grief Cottage….on the far end of the island.
A boy and his parents disappeared in the cottage during a hurricane, fifty years ago. Their bodies were never found and the cottage has been empty ever since.
There has been no talk of it being haunted, but being left pretty much on his own by his aunt, Marcus is the first person the ghost of the cottage has revealed himself to.
After Aunt Charlotte injures herself and may never be able to paint again, Marcus finds himself in sort of a courtship with the ghost boy. He is both intrigued by and terrifyed by him, and wants to find out what happened to him, and his parents, who nobody seems to even remember the names of.
What I thought of Grief Cottage
Grief Cottage is Book 5/60 in my attempt to read 60 books this year.
It is not a typical haunting story. No things going bump in the night. While Marcus has no doubt the ghost boy is real, as a reader I’m not sure I’m convinced.
Marcus is himself a haunted child. Haunted by his past, more afraid of his present than he wants to admit, thinking a little of the future yet to come. As he unpacks his belongings from his previous life, and relives the memories they stir in him the ghost becomes more solid. I think it might be a solidification of his own uncertainties, since he really has no physical person that he feels he can reach out to.
Meanwhile, its a rough coming of age story, a finding of a surrogate mother, a desperate need of a father figure, and a fear of disappearing entirely manifested in acts of trying to find the identities of the nameless family.
This was a rough and emotional book, which can be taken at face value as a ghost story, or something deeper.
If you read Grief Cottage I would love to know what you think. Is the ghost real, or not?
If you enjoyed this review you might also like:
You’ll notice that we are several days into 2018 and I’ve not popped in and shared my 2018 Resolutions with you all.
That is because I’ve not been able to SET resolutions for myself. I’ve been in one of my deep blue funks, and being depressed is not condusive to setting goals. It is more likely to make me hide my head under a pillow and try to wait for the next New Year to roll around.
However, after drafting, writing, re-writing
I am a quitter.
That’s right. I’m not a person who keeps fighting against all odds. When the going gets tough I stop going.
That is probably why I never have kept many of my resolutions, or other life goals.
So, after several weeks of thinking on it I decided that my Word of the Year should be something to keep me on track, to help remind me to stop giving up so easily. So I chose:
These are “Minor” resolutions not in that they are less important, but in that they are more easily achievable.
So, there is a look inside of my plans for myself in 2018. Lets see how long I can keep them up, considering it took 2 weeks to write them.
When it was time to set my resolutions for 2017 I chose a “Word of the Year” for the first time ever. The word I chose was “Cleanse”
With that word I had 3 very basic and wide open “resolutions, plus one more specific one.
Decluttering my home of the stuff I don’t want/need/love
Letting go of negative emotions, grudges, sorrows of the past.
Treating my body better, cleansing it of the fat that is making it sick.
On top of my ONE word of the year, I would also like to learn some new words this year,
So, how did I do?
Well, I threw some things away. Mostly magazines.
Unfortunately I have just as much crap because I keep bring things back in. So you cant really tell that I got rid of anything.
I did just empty 2 trash bags of stuff just this month. I may end the year up in a junk deficit after all.
Well, this was one of my resolutions that I can call a COMPLETE fail.
My depression is still untreated, which leads to a lot of late night attacks of negative thougts. Every single “what if” in my life floats to the front.
Related, I started taking St. Johns Wort and have seen some improvement in my mental stability. So there’s that.
To “get healthy” is one of the most common resolutions.
I did manage to drop 2 pant sizes, from a 22 to an 18. But the weight loss stopped, as it always does. I like food. I don’t like exercise. I pretty much set myself up to fail.
I managed to NOT regain everything I lost though, so that’s a plus.
Still Morbidly Obese though. And have developed Hypertension (high blood pressure.) While getting my gall-bladder removed I was informed I have a fatty liver, so there’s that.
As far as resolutions go, you would think this one would be easy.
Chances are good that I DID learn some new words this year, but I couldn’t tell you what they are right now. I didn’t make an effort to read and learn a new word every day though.
I should have gotten that Word a Day callendar instead of my Zen one I suppose.
Or, if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I say Happy Thursday!
Across most of America today giant meals are being cooked, served, and eaten. People who normally only eat small ammounts are going back for seconds….or thirds.
There is pie. So much pie. Pie everywhere!
Last night my mother in law and I started putting our meal together. We prepped the bird so it only had to be put in the oven. We grated the cheese to prepare the Stovetop Mac n Cheese. Thank the powers that be for her food processor, because I know I would not have wanted to grate 2 pounds of cheese by hand! (But I would have because….mac n cheese)
This morning I woke up early(ish) and went over to get the bird in the oven and help make everything else.
By early I mean I set my alarm for 7, then turned it off and got up at 7:55 to throw on yesterdays clothes and run across the street to my in-laws house. She had open heart surgery about 5 weeks ago and totally isn’t up to doing the whole meal herself.
Today is very wet where I live. The rain has not stopped falling all day, and I may have gotten a LITTLE wet running back and forth a few times between houses.
This is much to the joy of my husband who has to work today and decided weeks ago that he was going to hate everything about today because he has to work. If there was such a thing as a Thanksgiving Grinch, he would be it.
Meanwhile I have to work today too (after having cooked all morning and cleaned a kitchen afterwards) and I’m in the most Thankful mood I’ve been in years.
This might be due in part to the St. John’s Wort I’ve been taking. My emotions are a tad more settled than they have been in years past.
Cooking with my mother in law, my children playing nicely with each other, the fact that I still have a job to go to so Christmas isn’t all bleak. I have a lot to Give Thanks about this year.
“Gratitude means to recognize the good in your life, be thankful for whatever you have, some people may not even have one of those things you consider precious to you (love, family, friends etc). Each day give thanks for the gift of life.You are blessed”
Okay, lets be honest, for many of you that post is a big, fat, LIE. Because most of you reading this very first post probably know all about Noner from following my facebook and previous blog incarnations. But, just in case you didn’t
1. Noner loves rats!
2. My favorite movie is Empire Records
3. I dyed my hair blue for one entire year!
Well, except for the time that I dyed it purple. Then there was the red that turned into hot pink. But mostly it was blue.
And I was 35 when I did this, not a rebellious teen thing. A grown woman “its my hair and I’ll do what I want” thing. And I loved every minute of it.
The only reason I stopped dying it was because I thought I was about to lose my job and might need to be presentable for possible employers.
#adulting for the win!
4. Noner is afraid of the dark.
Yeah, its a tiny bit silly, but I totally am. There might be monsters under the bed in the dark (nevermind that my bed is a platform bed!). And, you will never, ever, ever catch me looking in a reflective surface in the dark.
Speaking of which, do you have any idea how many reflective surfaces are in the dark? Mirrors, windows, television screens. It’s a minefield!
5. I want to be a writer when I grow up.
Of course that means I might actually have to grow up one day, so maybe that will never happen. I don’t write as much as I used to, so I need to fix that. You can read here at the blog of course, or check out Wild Verbs for some fiction and poetry.
6. Noner sometimes refers to herself in the 3rd person. (Don’t judge me.)
Not only do it do it online, but I have been known to refer to myself in 3rd person in real life too. Like, at work, on the headset, where everyone can hear me. Yeah….I do that.
7. I’m a cat person, but have only had dogs for the past several years.
I love cats. I also like dogs a lot. My husband loves dogs and doesn’t care so much for cats. I wanted to adopt a kitten recently. I came home with another dog instead.
So, hes probably the cutest dog in the history of cute dogs, but he’s not a cat. I guess I can forgive him for that.
8. I’ve worked for the same company for the past 12 years.
These days that is quite an accomplishment, considering that its a retail job. Retail jobs have a high turnover. Nobody considers them a “real” job. Seems real enough to me. Just saying.
9. I’m not so good at talking about myself.
You’re average person would be able to share 10 random things about themselves with no problem at all. It has taken me TWO DAYS to come up with 10 things about myself. That can’t be good….
10. Hot Bath Therapy!
Nothing makes me happier at the end of the day than slipping into a scalding tub of water.
A recent test proved that my baths raise my body temperature by 5 degrees.
And that’s it. That’s all I got. Want to know more, feel free to drop a comment. I’ll add stuff.