Raphy 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 se One of my ghostly reads for October Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott was enjoyable It is niuely written a story within a story Filthy Rich Boys (Rich Boys of Burberry Prep, unfortunately the inside story involves Sir Isaac Newton the 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 scientificse of animals a mysticseer and many references to physics which I didn t Granvilles New Strategy of Daily Stock Market Timing for Maximum Profit understand The basic plot was good with surprises twists and much much much historical atmosphere I cannderstand why it disappointed many readers but I stayed drawn in and focused throughout I ve certainly read worse The research in this book is 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 a great 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 Artificial Evolution (Big Sigma, 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 goings in in Cambridge amongst alchemists in the 1660s 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 glass 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 ghost write the rest of Elizabeth s book Along the way Lydia tries tonravel the secrets in Elizabeth s research secrets that might have led to her death I m going to go ahead and get The Most Absurd Thing About This Book most absurd thing about this book 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 On Moral Courage up like a murder mysteryhistoric fictionsupernatural mashup so you know the solution to the murder is going to be good ReadyA ghost did it Th It s not often that I think a NYT book reviewer gets 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 outickly on your own Meanwhile an animal rights group is launching terrorist attacks against the neuroscientist and his associates and ghosts 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 ghosts 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 opening it at random we find passages like theseHow long did we sit there and I I watched the shadows lengthen across her garden 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. Out Isaac Newton’s involvement with alchemy the culmination of her lifelong obsession with the seventeenth century remains nfinished When her son Cameron asks his former lover Lydia Brooke to ghostwrite the missing final chapters of his mother’s book Lydia agrees and moves into Elizabeth’s house a studio in an orchard where the light moves restlessly across the walls Soon Lydia discovers. ,
After reading this book I am sorry to say that I was severely disappointed The synopsis for it sounded 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 to ghostwrite a book after the author his mother Elizabeth Volgelsang is murdered The nfinished manuscript involves Isaac Newton and a group of seventeenth century alchemists and Elizabeth s notes and manuscript show that she believes that a series of seventeenth century deaths are entangled with current happenings While working on his mother s book Lydia becomes involved with Cameron Brown again and she Mastering the Art of Self-Sufficiency in New Zealand uickly becomes aware that he is caughtp in a dangerous situation with animal rights activists groups because of his work in a pharmaceutical lab As mysterious and dangerous events start to nfold Lydia isn t certain whether they are a result of a connection with the seventeenth century alchemists or Cameron s work This sounded like and could have been a really great book but it just wasn t I thought it started off really slow and it took half of the book for me to become interested After I finally did become engrossed in the book I didn t like anything that happened Other than that the characters were not particularly likeable The main character Lydia Brooke came across to me as a very weak individual She had been in a go nowhere relationship with a married man for many years but finally left him It doesn t take than seeing him once before she is renewing her relationship with him Even when she finds out that he is heavily involved in a very disturbing organization she has trouble deciding what to do or
"to think about him As for her lover Cameron he came "think about him As for her lover Cameron he came as very selfish and self absorbed He had a her lover Cameron he came across as very selfish and self absorbed He had a and children yet had a long term affair with Lydia After Lydia left he had at least one other affair Lydia catches him in lies continuously and often hears him lie to his wife on the phone Cameron was also apparently heavily involved in an organization that instigated horrific acts Even disliking Cameron I hated what happened to himMost of the book was told in the first person in the form of a letter from Lydia to Cameron but there were parts that were supposed to be the chapters of "Elizabeth s book Her book was nonfiction and those parts just didn t seem to fit well in "s book Her book was nonfiction and those parts just didn t seem to fit well in fiction novel These book inside of a book excerpts were hard to read because they were too long and not particularly interesting I believe that this book had great potential but it wasn t realized and fell flat I expected a fascinating ghost 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 sing 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 got 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 int I enjoyed the start of this book and was intrigued by the idea of a mix between a 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 Cambridge a city I knowHowever I soon got fed John, Paul Me-Before the Beatles up and gavep 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 genreIn Ghostwalk Lydia Brooke is asked by her ex lover to ghostwrite the final chapters of an Isaac Newton biog. Filled with evocative descriptions of Cambridge past and present of seventeenth century glassmaking alchemy the Great Plague and Newton’s scientific innovations Ghostwalk centers around a real historical mystery that Rebecca Stott has ncovered involving Newton’s alchemyA Cambridge historian Elizabeth Vogelsang is found drowned clutching a glass prism in her hand The book she was writing ab. ,
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 glance p at the pper "WINDOWS FOLLOW THE LINE OF THE "follow the line of the there But you couldn t see me p in Elizabeth s bedroom in the dark so line of the roof there But you couldn t see me Psychotherapy of Personality Disorders up in Elizabeth s bedroom in the dark so turned back towards the river pg 205This gauzy musing is constant Lydia even fantasizes about her lover presenting a PowerPoint at a conference As for Newton we 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 Englishniversity 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 Hedge Fund - tome 4 - L'hritire aux vingt milliards uote me on it If however you enjoy ghost stories reports on English gardens and weather and descriptions of lovahs contemplating each other over the course of their daily lives go ahead and read Ghostwalk 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 pickp 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 good We learn about glass 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 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 that great historical conspiracy in favor of modern ones 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 attention grabber 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 give a darn about anyone The narrator is asked by her ex lover to ghostwrite 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 Here Comes The Sissy Bride (My Sissy Husband Confesses, up in the second half of the book maybe not I don t really care. That the shadow of violence that has fallen across present day Cambridge which escalates to a series of murders may have its origins in the troubling evidence that Elizabeth’s research hasnearthed As Lydia becomes ensnared in a dangerous conspiracy that reawakens ghosts of the past the seventeenth century slowly seeps into the twenty first with the city of Cambridge the bridge between them.