“The way to get rid of a ghost is to take it home.”
This is a ghost story, a story of this world and another, of befores and afters. Before his mother leaves him. After she went to Chicago. After Bishop was raped. Before Samuel’s story revealed Bishop’s secret to Bethany. Before Faye knew Sebastian for a fake. Before the war. After he abandoned Norway. After Bethany becomes the forbidden fruit. After he thought of everyone as an enemy, an obstacle, a trap, or a puzzle. Before he asked the right questions. Before that treacherous pebble ghost was pocketed. Before it became a stone. Before it became a boulder weighing all of them down, dragging them under as they sailed on separate seas further and further away from the shores of family, friendship and love.
To get rid of a ghost, you must take it home. To Bethany. To Norway. To Iowa. To forgiveness, but not forgetting for “every memory is really a scar.” They are with us and they don’t look nice, but they don’t hurt.
It takes some skill to weave a story out of fishing, napalm, Norway, violent protests, Richard Nixon, video game addictions, child abandonment, the midwest, and classical music, but Nathan Hill has woven a spectacular read. This books is terrific. Don’t let its 620 page girth sway you. #ReadThisBook #OneNightstand