Monday, August 29, 2011

The Ghost Orchid

Carol Goodman

Ellis Brooks is excited to be invited to the Bosco - A beautiful estate transformed into an artist colony. You see, she's working on her first book and it happens to be about the medium Corinth Black and the controversy that now surrounds her and the previous owners of Bosco - Miles and Aurora Latham. While fighting through writers block Ellis must learn to navigate a fragile ecosystem of artists and their habits but when her fellow residents start to emulate the infamous characters from the Latham situation Ellis must learn to trust her instincts, even when they seem anything but right.

Let's ignore the fact that I've read three Carol Goodman books this year. However, let's not ignore the fact that each one has had a slew of problems, from implausible characters to shady historical dealings. Even so it's hard ignore how addictive her writing is.  The Ghost Orchid covers a few one of Goodman's specialties - groups of artists and academics living in close proximity. Not quite the boarding schools of Lake of Dead Languages and Arcadia Falls fame, but just as intriguing.

Goodman's Bosco estate is beautifully depicted, and the reasoning behind it is even more haunting. Aurora\Latham's story is heart breaking. Between her dead children and her likable, but not so great husband she had to retreat into the world of myth and fountains to create a safe haven, and I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't want to see Bosco's grounds (or library, or secret passageways.) With Bosco as a backdrop a store full of mediums, procession and lies seems more plausible, the characters plights more threatening and the heartbreak more real.

There's a reason why only a few of Goodman's novels are best sellers, The Ghost Orchid is an interesting and quick read, but it lacks the substance of many of her other novels. However if medium's and thrillers are you're thing check it out.

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