A Reunion of Ghosts

by Judith Claire Mitchell

Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on A Reunion of Ghosts

Magnificent and heartbreaking, A Reunion of Ghosts is an epic novel about three unforgettable women, bound to each other and their remarkable family through the blessings and the burdens bestowed by blood. One of them has terminal cancer.  All agree to commit suicide when the illness becomes unbearable.  They have a family history of suicide.  Stepping back a generation further their great grandfather invented mustard gas and they believe that because of this they are cursed.  Divided into three parts, with the family relationships and their history totally fascinating, the sisters themselves are rather self-absorbed, obsessed with suicide and insistent that random events were not so, but predetermined by the behaviour of ancestors.The style is amusing so a potentially morose subject is often treated in a comic manner making the conclusion more tragic. ~ Sarah Boadhurst

A Reunion of Ghosts Synopsis

'What if the man who invented chemical weapons was also a grandfather, and what if his great-grandchildren grew up to be three hilarious, introverted, deeply-haunted sisters? And what if those sisters co-wrote a fascinating, funny, and deeply sad 350-page suicide note? Then you'd have A REUNION OF GHOSTS.' Anthony Doerr Meet the Alter sisters: Lady, Vee and Delph. These three mordantly witty, complex women share their family's apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. They love each other fiercely, but being an Alter isn't easy. Bad luck is in their genes, passed down through the generations. Yet no matter what life throws at these siblings, they always have a wisecrack - and each other. In the waning days of 1999, the sisters decide it's time to close the circle of the Alter curse. But first, as the world counts down to the dawn of a new millennium, Lady, Vee and Delph must write the final chapter of a saga generations in the making - one that is inexorably intertwined with that of the twentieth century itself. Unspooling threads of history, personal memory and family lore, they weave a mesmerising account of their lives that stretches back decades to their great-grandfather, a brilliant scientist whose professional triumph became the sinister legacy that defines them. Magnificent and heartbreaking, A REUNION OF GHOSTS is an epic novel about three unforgettable women, bound to each other and their remarkable family through the blessings and the burdens bestowed by blood.

A Reunion of Ghosts Press Reviews

'Had me devouring the pages ... A story that's tragic, touching and - against all odds - strangely uplifting'
Stylist Magazine, 5 Stars

'One of the sharpest, tartest, flat-out funniest books you're likely to read any time soon... A master-class in tragi-comedy'
Hepzibah Anderson, Jewish Chronicle

'A triumphant, beautiful, and devastating novel about coincidences, family, and the sins of our fathers'
Anthony Doerr, author of All The Light We Cannot See

'My favourite novel of the year ... This mordantly funny story of the Alter sisters is a literary mash-up of The Virgin Suicides and Grey Gardens. I wouldn't be surprised if Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola are slugging it out for the film rights already.'
Sam Baker, Harpers Bazaar, Books of 2015

'A book about suicide, written by three damaged characters hell-bent on self-destruction? It may not sound a barrel of laughs, but this is not only poignant and moving, but genuinely funny - with the humour ranging from the darkest comedy to some superbly silly puns'
Daily Mail

'A Reunion of Ghosts is a very funny book but it is also tender, sombre and thought-provoking'
Financial Times

'Mitchell's masterful family saga is as funny as it is aching ... For the Alters, life has been a seemingly endless series of tragedies; for us, the tragedy is that this stunning novel inevitably comes to an end'
Kirkus, starred review

'This original tale is black comedy at its best'
People

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780007594375
Publication date: 31/12/2015
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780007594344
Publication date: 26/03/2015
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007594375
Publication date: 31st December 2015
Author: Judith Claire Mitchell
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 400 pages
Genres: Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Judith Claire Mitchell

Judith Claire Mitchell, author of 'The Last Day of the War', is an English professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, she currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband, the artist Don Friedlich. Below is a Q&A with this author. What I’m reading: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. What I’m listening to: I’m tempted to lie and name some super cool contemporary musician, but the truth is I tend to listen to Cole Porter and ...

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