Polly's Ghost by Abby Frucht
A Novel

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Synopsis

"I only wish I ever had the chance to hug and kiss him, teach him his letters and numbers, the colors and shapes, the animal sounds, all the starts of the ways of the world that accompany a person through life like rocks in a hard stream, put there as if for crossing."

In life, Polly Baymiller was a fierce and passionate woman ardently in love with her husband and her three sets of twins. Why should she be any different in death?

Polly's Ghost begins when Polly, an ethereal, glimpses her nine-year-old son, Tip, for the first time since she died giving birth to him. He's the only baby she never got to hold, to kiss, or to guide from one uncertain moment to the next deliberate one, and it is Tip she has missed most fervently in the years she has spent learning to be a ghost.

Love, Polly comes to realize, is not a state of mind but a way of being. One must act on the feeling in order to make it count. And act she does, taking bold steps from "above" to make sure that Tip has the courage and curiosity he needs to make his own precious way on Earth. Meanwhile, Polly -- drawn into and out of the earthly stories of the unfolding lives of other people -- follows her own path, away from a tormented ghostliness toward an abundant peace.

It is a testament to Abby Frucht's talent that this novel explores so ecstatically and yet so bracingly that most sentimental of all subjects -- the relationship between mother and child. Polly's Ghost is a stunning successor to Life Before Death, which The Boston Globe hailed as a "breathtakingly beautiful story."

 

About Abby Frucht

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Abby Frucht is the author of five previous works of fiction, three of which -- Life Before Death, Snap, and Are You Mine? -- were New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Her book Licorice won the Quality Paperback Book Club and New Voices Awards. Ms. Frucht writes essays and reviews for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Village Voice. She is currently a member of the faculty at the Vermont College M.F.A. program and lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with her two sons.
 
Published January 17, 2000 by Scribner. 368 pages
Genres: Horror, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Inheriting his mother’s charismatic glow, Tip grows into a happy Lothario, Honey into the paragon of independence, while Johnny, lured into the water by Tom Bane’s liquid bitterness, drowns, leaving Tip alone again.

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