'The Winter Ghosts'
Author: Kate Mosse
Published: Putnam Adult; Feb. 2011
Genre: Historical fiction
Synopsis: In Mosse's wisp of a new novel (after Sepulchre), Freddie Watson is a stilted young man who has not gotten over older brother George's disappearance on the Western Front during WWI. It is now 10 years since the Armistice, and Freddie, after a stay in a mental institution, has come to the French Pyrenees to find peace. While motoring through a snowstorm, he crashes his car and ends up in the small village of Nulle, where he meets a beautiful young woman named Fabrissa. In the course of an evening, Fabrissa tells Freddie a story of persecution, resistance, and death, hinting at a long-buried secret. By the next morning, she is gone, leaving Freddie alone to unlock a ghostly mystery hidden for 600 years.
My Take: I know when you look at that title and cover you'll say to yourself, well what the heck is she doing reading a book like that in the middle of the summer? Well sometimes I just grab! I wanted a book that was slim. This one has been sitting in my review pile for awhile and it is, well, tantalizingly small. Most of the books I read are 300+ pages and sometimes I just want to be able to zip through a book! Plus, I love historical fiction so the setting seemed great, regardless of the season. In action though, it didn't work for me.
Kate Mosse, while a new to me author, is a popular one. I feel I may be selling her short by having this be the only book of hers I've read. The narrative centers around Freddie who in the 1920s, cannot move on from the loss of his brother George who died fighting in WWI. His brother was the star of his little family. His parents idolized him and Freddie loved him; without George, Freddie is lost. Years later, he has had breakdowns, institutionalization, more familial deaths and is trying to move on. Bottom line, Freddie is your regular anti-hero. However, he never really does anything to make you want to root for him in the end.
He winds up in a small French town in the middle of a snow storm when they are having an annual festival and gets caught up in the action. He winds up meeting a girl and he thinks she might be the one but all might not be as it seems. The story is incredibly slow and you aren't really sure why it is so slow. The book is short, you would expect it to be action packed, for every word to count. Instead, I found myself falling asleep. I knew the twist halfway in, and then you don't really want to keep reading after that.
So my question to you is, if I was to give Mosse another try, which book is a must?
As always there are other opinions out there, so don't take my word for gospel! Here some other people who enjoyed this one much more:
Just Book Reading
Knitting and Sundries
Cover Lust: I love this cover! It does set the scene perfectly for one dark and stormy night!