Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews

His choice and its consequences will echo with readers, and Godwin’s forceful prose captivates with the quiet, renewing power of a persistent tide.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

The haunting tale of a desolate cottage, and the hair-thin junction between this life and the next, from bestselling National Book Award finalist Gail Godwin.

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.

Grief Cottage is the best sort of ghost story, but it is far more than that--an investigation of grief, remorse, and the memories that haunt us. The power and beauty of this artful novel wash over the reader like the waves on a South Carolina beach.
 

About Gail Godwin

See more books from this Author
Gail Godwin, three-time National Book Award finalist, is the bestselling author of twelve critically acclaimed novels, including A Mother and Two Daughters, The Good Husband, Father Melancholy's Daughter, and Evensong. She is also the author of The Making of a Writer, her journal in two volumes (ed. Rob Neufeld). She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Woodstock, New York. Visit her website at www.gailgodwin.com.
 
Published June 6, 2017 by Bloomsbury USA. 330 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Grief Cottage
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Mar 21 2017

Godwin approaches many of her usual melancholic themes from a different angle and raises the question of whether we get what we want or we get what we need.

Read Full Review of Grief Cottage: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Sep 28 2017

His choice and its consequences will echo with readers, and Godwin’s forceful prose captivates with the quiet, renewing power of a persistent tide.

Read Full Review of Grief Cottage: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Sarah Lyall on May 22 2017

All this is deeply satisfying to the sort of reader who, like me, enjoys a neat ending. “Grief Cottage” is in some ways about the search for meaning in the narratives of our lives — the stories we tell others, and especially the stories we tell ourselves.

Read Full Review of Grief Cottage: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

The Economist

Above average
on Jun 10 2017

Like Joanna Briscoe’s “Touched” and Sarah Waters’s “The Little Stranger”, “Grief Cottage” is an ambiguous, beguiling tale in which the presence of the supernatural is entangled with—and perhaps precipitated by—characters who are undergoing an emotional crisis.

Read Full Review of Grief Cottage: A Novel | See more reviews from The Economist
×