A spooky tale told from the point of view of a ghost residing in an 1845 farmhouse in Calais, Vermont, The Ghost Clause is a testament of love to marriage, to home, and to community. Howard's precise and provocative language draws the reader into the vitality in everyday life and the importance of connection. Whether we make those connections through poetry or through interactions at the Adamant Co-op, The Ghost Clause presents us with a tantalizing cast of characters, including one very engaging ghost.— Sam
National Book Award Finalist Howard Norman delivers another "provocative . . . haunting"* novel, this time set in a Vermont village and featuring a missing child, a newly married private detective, and a highly relatable ghost
(*Janet Maslin, New York Times)
Simon Inescort is no longer bodily present in his marriage. It's been several months since he keeled over the rail of a Nova Scotia-bound ferry, a massive heart attack to blame. Simon's widow, Lorca Pell, has sold their farmhouse to newlyweds Zachary and Muriel--after revealing that the deed contains a "ghost clause," an actual legal clause, not unheard of in Vermont, allowing for reimbursement if a recently purchased home turns out to be haunted.
In fact, Simon finds himself still at home: "Every waking moment, I'm astonished I have any consciousness . . . What am I to call myself now, a revenant?" He spends time replaying his marriage in his own mind, as if in poignant reel-to-reel, while also engaging in occasionally intimate observation of the new homeowners. But soon the crisis of a missing child, a local eleven-year-old, threatens the tenuous domestic equilibrium, as the weight of the case falls to Zachary, a rookie private detective with the Green Mountain Agency.
The Ghost Clause is a heartrending, affirming portrait of two marriages--one in its afterlife, one new and erotically charged--and of the Vermont village life that sustains and remakes them.
About the Author
HOWARD NORMAN's novels The Northern Lights and The Bird Artist were both nominated for National Book Awards. He is the author, most recently, of What Is Left the Daughter and My Darling Detective.