The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, Hardback Book

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste Hardback

4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)

Description

From the ORANGE PRIZE-winning author, an enthralling novel about an enduring mystery, an infamous mystic and Arthur Conan Doyle. A mystery unsolved to this day A mystic who confounds the cynics A writer looking for the story that will make his name A ghost ship appears in the mist.

To the struggling author Arthur Conan Doyle, it is an inspiration.

To Violet Petra, the gifted American psychic, it is a cruel reminder.

To the death-obsessed Victorian public, it is a fascinating distraction. And to one family, tied to the sea for generations, it is a tragedy. In salons and on rough seas, at seances and in the imagination of a genius, these stories converge in unexpected ways as the mystery of the ghost ship deepens.

But will the sea yield its secrets, and to whom? Intricate, atmospheric, and endlessly intriguing, The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is a spellbinding exploration of love, loss and the fictions that pass as truth.

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Review by
4

The circumstances of the disappearance of the crew of the Mary Celeste are one of the greatest maritime mysteries of all time and, in an age where even the universe is beginning to give up its secrets, successive generations have puzzled over the ship’s apparent enigma, refusing to accept that certain mysteries will defy explanation. It is little wonder, then, that I jumped at the opportunity to read and review an account of the doomed ship, even if it is fictitious.This is a book that defies easy synopsis and categorisation: it is in turns a third-person account, journals and book extracts told in the first person, and a transcription of historical documents relating to the salvage of the Mary Celeste, focusing on a number of characters tied to the ship in some way. At times, these connections are infuriatingly tangential, and in my opinion the strands involving Arthur Conan Doyle and the journalist Phoebe Grant are the least successful and convincing in this collection. What lifts this book above an average read is the powerful and deeply affecting prose. Valerie Martin managed to turn the sea into another character in the story, one that is always changeable, mysterious and dangerous, beautiful and immense in equal measure. This is best expressed by Sarah, the captain’s wife of the Mary Celeste: “What madness. What vanity of men, to sail about in fragile wooden boxes tricked out with sails, putting their lives, their fortunes, their families at the mercy of this ravenous, murderous, heartless beast of a sea. … The sea is my enemy, and it has defeated me.” These words ring especially true at the moment, when the sinking of a South Korean ferry is making tragic news.Do read this for an evocation of the Victorian age and for its beautiful prose, just don’t expect to get any real answers as to what happened aboard the Mary Celeste.(This review was originally written as part of Amazon's Vine programme.)

Review by
5
A mystery unsolved to this day

A mystic who confounds the cynics

A writer looking for the story that will make his name

A ghost ship appears in the mist. To the struggling author Arthur Conan Doyle, it is an inspiration. To Violet Petra, the gifted American psychic, it is a cruel reminder. To the death-obsessed Victorian public, it is a fascinating distraction. And to one family, tied to the sea for generations, it is a tragedy.

In salons and on rough seas, at séances and in the imagination of a genius, these stories converge in unexpected ways as the mystery of the ghost ship deepens. But will the sea yield its secrets, and to whom? Intricate, atmospheric, and endlessly intriguing, The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is a spellbinding exploration of love, loss and the fictions that pass as truth.


Fabulous storytelling that blends fact and fiction to produce a compelling and entertaining tale.

The narrative is made up of letters, diaries and log of the Mary Celeste itself. You might not get answers to the enigma of the Mary Celeste but you will experience a haunting novel of death and impending doom dazzlingly written.

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