Ghost Dance

Carole Maso

Most of the time while reading this book, I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. The narrative is purposefully fragmented in a curious way. Our narrator is the daughter of a renowned poet, a woman who is talented to the degree that she can’t always function in the world outside of her writing. At the beginning, we are told that the daughter said goodbye to her mother at Grand Central Station, and then her mother disappeared. Her father and brother take off shortly afterward as well. The novel is basically a game of hide-and-seek with the circumstances of her disappearance, through memories and imagined scenes from her mother’s childhood. Perhaps to other people it would be obvious all along; yet I got caught up in trying to glean the future from these past-focused moments, and the narrator’s “present day” thoughts were seemingly focused but ultimately distracted. Slowly the shroud falls. The first half of the last part of the book is brilliant — at that moment I loved it. But by the time I’d read the last remaining bits of the book, I was back to my uncertainty.

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