Well that was different In theory this book should have been my jam The story opens with Elizabeth Vogelsang being found dead in a river near her Cambridge home clutching a lass prism in her hand Elizabeth is a 17th century scholar who specializes in Isaac Newton and her death interrupts her work on a book exploring Newton s interest in alchemy Elizabeth s son Cameron recruits Lydia Brooke a writer friend of Elizabeth and Cameron s former lover to On the Run ghost write the rest of Elizabeth s book Along the way Lydia tries to unravel the secrets in Elizabeth s research secrets that might have led to her death I moing to The Price Of Blood (Phil Broker, go ahead andet the most absurd thing about this book out of the way first so we can acknowledge it and move on Okay so you want to know who killed Elizabeth right The book is set up like a murder mysteryhistoric fictionsupernatural mashup so you know the so After reading this book I am sorry to say that I was severely disappointed The synopsis for it sounded Russian Winter great and I normally love books that involve a historical mystery to solve but there really wasn t much about this book that I liked A historian and writer of screenplays Lydia Brooke is hired by her former married lover Cameron Brown tohostwrite a book after the author his mother Elizabeth Volgelsang is murdered The unfinished manuscript involves Isaac Newton and a Meg and the Mystery in Williamsburg (Meg Duncan, group of seventeenth century alchemists and Elizabeth s notes and manuscript show that she believes that a series of seventeenth century deaths are ent One of myhostly reads for October Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott was enjoyable It is uniuely written a story within a story unfortunately the inside story involves Sir Isaac Newton the Pregnant Man great scientific discoverer I do not have a scientific heart SorryThere is a love story an affair with a married man if that is a love story suspicious deaths scientific use of animals a mysticseer and many references to physics which I didn t understand The basic plot wasood with surprises twists and much much much historical atmosphere I can understand why it disappointed many readers but I stayed drawn in and focused throughout I ve certainly read worse THis is the best book that I have ever read that I could only rate two stars I loved Neal Stephenson s Baroue Cycle and I couldn t wait to pick up another book that might take a deeper look into Isaac Newton s alchemical experiments The research that was done before this book was written is incredible and the passages in which Elizabeth Vogelsang s The Alchemist the fictitious biography of Newton at the center of Ghostwalk is excerpted are very ood We learn about lass making in seventeenth century Europe the plague in England the vast networks of alchemists operating in Europe at the time One of the major themes of the novel is that the past bleeds into the present but the author can t seem to Kawaii Manga get her many plot devices set in the present to bleed into one another making the novel as a whole fractured and nearly incomprehesible In the end the author had to through in some secret shadow empire of pharmaceutical companies and arms dealers into the mix a device that was not necessary to the plot of the novel or perhaps was thrown in because she couldn t find an end and didn t add anything except maybe a political jab at arms dealers and pharmaceutical companies This novel had so much promise but it failed for its lack of cohesion the lack of empathy engendered in the reader for the characters and the waste of all of thatreat historical conspiracy in favor of modern ones I enjoyed the start of this book and was intrigued by the idea of a mix between a The House Girl ghost story and detective story with 17th century events woven in with present day ones I was also attracted by the fact that it s set in Cambridg. When Elizabeth a reclusive historian is found drowned in a tributary of the River Cam she is clutching al.
WerPoint at a conference As for Newton we The Accursed get scenes here and there excerpted from the book Lydia s working on but it s a very small part of this novel and likely to be a disappointment to anyone with experience of say AS Byatt s burst fullgrown from the skull of Zeus inventionsIf you want to read a novel about alchemists and conspiracies read Foucault s Pendulum If you want to read a novel about skulduggery at a seventeenth century English university read An Instance of the Fingerpost If you want to read a novel about neuroscience I recall having enjoying Galatea 20 but that was a long time ago so don t uote me on it If however you enjoyhost stories reports on English ardens and weather and descriptions of lovahs contemplating each other over the course of their daily lives o ahead and read Ghostwalk I expected a fascinating host story literary with mysterious murders and the past coming back to haunt Intelligent and historical yes And it s full of atmospheric descriptions that I liked However the main character Lydia Brooke speaking in the first person point of view I ve been back four times I said but then telling the other main character Cameron her ex lover what he said presenting his dialogue by using the pronoun you to name the speaker So instead of he said or Cameron said the author writes you said meaning you Cameron said it This device was not only distracting but a really screwy way to write I ot so annoyed after a while with Lydia telling Cameron and the reader what he said And then somewhere around page 230 we have Lydia in third person point of view Lydia Brooke walked into the dark her head ached that s when she first heard the footsteps The story The research in this book is Swing Sideways great as well as the writing in the book about Isaac Newton within this story In fact the Newton book should have been this story That would have made areat book with all these elements alchemists secret formulas brilliant young Newton beginning to figure out among other things calculus and differential euations lovely stuff patronage factions nepotism a series of uestionable deaths Why did the author waste her time writing a pointless story with annoying characters in the present when she could have speculated away in all sorts of fantastic and fantastical ways about the The Secret of the Great Pyramid goings in in Cambridge amongst alchemists in the 1660s I did not finish this book and my only regret is that I spent way too much time trying to like it I found nothing to like It claims to be a haunting literary thriller and a historical mystery involving Isaac Newton s alchemy Why I thought anything involving Isaac Newton and his alchemy would be interesting is beyond me now Turns out I have no interest in Isaac Newton or alchemy or the 17th century At least not as portrayed in this book The entire framework of the book is awkward it is told in the 1st person by a woman who attends a funeral for a woman who died while writing a book on Isaac Newton not exactly an attentionrabber introduction The narrator apparently had an affair with the dead woman s son and throughout the story she refers to this ex lover as you she seems to be writing a memoir of what is happening or has happened as the reader knows virtually nothing about the narrator or you it is really hard to Dancing with Mr. Darcy give a darn about anyone The narrator is asked by her ex lover tohostwrite the remaining chapters of the Newton book that his mother didn t finish if that isn t an exciting premise I don t know what would be Plus this ex lover works for some sort of a scientific research company and there is a second story about animal testing protesters which supposedly connects with Newton Blah blah blah Maybe the pace really picks up in the second half of the book maybe not I don t really car. Lydia Brooke a young writer and friend of Elizabeth's and asks her to complete the last chapter of the book.
E a city I knowHowever I soon Lesca got fed up andave up after about 80 pages I didn t believe in any of the characters and found the plot too convoluted so decided not to waste my time I ve seen some reviews of Rebecca Stott s Ghostwalk compare it to The DaVinci Code but it s an extremely superficial comparison Books about modern day people who investigate mysteries from the past existed long before Dan Brown hammered out his infamous novel he did not create a new Sharpes Trafalgar genreIn Ghostwalk Lydia Brooke is asked by her ex lover tohostwrite the final chapters of an Isaac Newton biography that his late mother was writing As she completes the work Lydia finds the seventeenth century creeping into the present as mysterious deaths mirror the deaths of Newton s contemporariesIt s not exactly a murder mystery Ghostwalk focuses on Lydia s own entanglements with her ex lover and his dead mother than it does on the victims The narration is lyrical the entire novel is Lydia speaking to her ex lover referring to him in the second person The result is dark moody and dreamy There are also chunks of the Newton biography included providing interesting details about the scientist s lifeMany other reviews mark it down for reuiring a suspension of disbelief but they seem to miss the point that this is a Punished ghost story did they not read the title I really enjoyed how subtly the two eras collide and things were just creepy enough without being sensational Ghostwalk is one of those impressive debut novels that makes one look forward to the author s next book It s not often that I think a NYT book reviewerets it totally wrong but that s the case with Rebecca Stott s novel Ghostwalk I should have been tipped off by the trite final sentence of the review Stott s home terrain however is the river riven landscape of the human heart What does the river stand for in this sentence Besides river and riven have the exact same etymology Pure blatherBut enough nit picking on the review The novel takes place in contemporary Cambridge where Lydia Brooke s intermittent lover a controversial neuroscientist asks her to finish his mother s book after she mysteriously drowns in the river The book is a study of Newton s alchemy that purports to explain how he resorted crime to attain a fellowship in his college Yes this is kind of a spoiler but you d figure this out uickly on your own Meanwhile an animal rights His To Protect group is launching terrorist attacks against the neuroscientist and his associates andhosts are trying to communicate with Lydia about events in the 17th centuryThis book wants to be Foucault s Pendulum but it lacks both the detail and the range In the end it s not about alchemy or neuroscience or even hosts it seems to be about the very thinly argued case against Newton and Lydia s affair The review lauds scholarly authority of the book but opening it at random we find passages like theseHow long did we sit there Dilys and I I watched the shadows lengthen across her arden a blackening shadow theatre across the vibrant emerald of her lawn I watched the honeysuckle tendrils blow in the wind the soft rain the late flies a crow I was nowhere and somewhere Lost between a river and the Fens between the seventeenth century and the twenty first between scepticism and belief pg 170 That night Cameron Brown I began to feel a new kind of power I touched the back of your neck with my eyes from your mother s bedroom window through the rain and made you turn towards me I watched you turn briefly towards the house Babys First Christmas (Christmas Is For Kids) (Christmas Is For Kids) (Harlequin American Romances, 754) glance up at the upper windows follow the line of the roof there But you couldn t see me up in Elizabeth s bedroom in the dark so you turned back towards the river pg 205Thisauzy musing is constant Lydia even fantasizes about her lover presenting a Po. Ass prism and has left behind her unfinished magnum opus a book on Isaac Newton's alchemy Her son turns to.
Rebecca Stott Å 6 characters
Rebecca Stott was born in Cambridge in 1964 and raised in Brighton in a large Plymouth Brethren community She studied English and Art History at York University and then completed an MA and PhD whilst raising her son Jacob born in 1984She is the author of several academic books on Victorian literature and culture two books of non fiction including a partial biography of Charles Darwin and a