TITLE: Ghost Music
AUTHOR: Candida Clark
MY RATING: 3/5
*Synopsis taken from Goodreads*
An English spa town in 1935 is made famous by an American novel: a love-story. Three years later, a young married actress travels there alone and finds the love-story itself, as she falls passionately in love with a young English man. Then, in the present, history seems to repeat itself when an English girl, haunted by the novel, visits the town and falls in love with a young archaeologist working there, and the tragic secrets of the pre-war love-affair are finally revealed.
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If you read my The books I plan on reading this year (2020) post then you will recognise this title from there. It made the list because I knew that I had read it but couldn’t remember anything about it, and I wanted to find out if I liked it or not. The answer? It was alright. There were parts that I liked and parts that I didn’t, hence my 3/5 rating. Now that I’ve read it again I’m not surprised that I couldn’t remember anything about this one, overall it is pretty forgettable.
My main issue with the book was that I found the plot to be not only predictable but quite far-fetched also which was disappointing. Ghost Music travels across time periods, and that worked well, we could follow different characters and stories all linked by a novel. What didn’t work well (in my opinion) was all of sudden having two time periods collide. There wasn’t a hint that this was going to happen, just all of a sudden two characters from one time period popped up in another. I don’t want to say how because it could spoil things if you decide to read this but for me it just didn’t work and made an otherwise interesting unfolding of events become unbelievable.
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I found the language a bit of a struggle also. The only word I can think of to describe it, and the word I used when I was scribbling down some thoughts immediately after finishing the book is: flowery. I wish the author had just brought it back a little and avoided what seemed to be a constant over the top approach to description. I like imagery within a story but this was too much and it made it difficult to read if I’m honest.
Now onto what I did like. To start with I thought the characterisation was great. This is a multi-perspective novel with a third person narration meaning there is no one main protagonist. Instead there are main characters, all of whom are damaged and this endears us to them immediately. The supporting characters are well presented also and are constructed strongly to ensure they prompt a reaction as well. My favourite character (the bellboy) is actually one of the supporting characters, and I chose him because he was the most endearing and innocent out of everyone. He was the perfect embodiment of a well intentioned person living with the guilt of a situation they were part of but had little or no control over.
I also liked the speed with which the stories unfolded. Equal time was given to each narrative and the stories within were told at the same pace, therefore no perspective seemed as though it was more important than any other. I like when there is no author bias towards characters or plot lines and I felt that was the case with Ghost Music. This was a big part of what kept me reading.
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Would I recommend this one? Honestly? Probably not. This book reminded me of a Nicolas Sparks novel, only in my opinion it was less well executed. I would say read The Notebook instead, it’s a lot better.
Have you read Ghost Music? What did you think about it? If you haven’t read it do you think that you will? As always I would love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed!