Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin
Published June 6, 2017 by Bloomsbury USA
Genres Fiction, Contemporary
After his mother’s death, eleven-year-old Marcus is sent to live on a small South Carolina island with his great aunt, a reclusive painter with a haunted past. Aunt Charlotte, otherwise a woman of few words, points out a ruined cottage, telling Marcus she had visited it regularly after she’d moved there thirty years ago because it matched the ruin of her own life. Eventually she was inspired to take up painting so she could capture its utter desolation. The islanders call it -Grief Cottage, – because a boy and his parents disappeared from it during a hurricane fifty years before. Their bodies were never found and the cottage has stood empty ever since. During his lonely hours while Aunt Charlotte is in her studio painting and keeping her demons at bay, Marcus visits the cottage daily, building up his courage by coming ever closer, even after the ghost of the boy who died seems to reveal himself. Full of curiosity and open to the unfamiliar and uncanny given the recent upending of his life, he courts the ghost boy, never certain whether the ghost is friendly or follows some sinister agenda.
I found this book to be fairly slow, but I really loved the setting; a beach cottage on the ocean. I have always loved the beach and the ocean, so I really enjoy reading any book in this setting. I also really enjoyed the writing in this book, as well as the main character, Marcus. I was amazed at how deeply Marcus’s thoughts went for an eleven year old and makes me curious if children of this age actually have similar thoughts. Although I really enjoyed the main character in this story, as well as the author’s beautiful writing and the setting on this story, I still found the book a bit hard to get into. Like I mentioned, the book moves along at a fairly slow pace and sometimes if a plot is too slow, I start losing interest. I think a great deal of people will enjoy this book for many reason, I just prefer books with a slightly faster plot line. I am also not the biggest fan of contemporary fiction, although I continue to read it. Also, the cover of this book is gorgeous. Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.