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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: Vintage Movie Classics

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Burdened by debt after her husband's death, Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted. Upon discovering the rumors to be true, the young widow ends up forming a special companionship with the ghost of handsome former sea captain Daniel Gregg. Through the stru Burdened by debt after her husband's death, Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted. Upon discovering the rumors to be true, the young widow ends up forming a special companionship with the ghost of handsome former sea captain Daniel Gregg. Through the struggles of supporting her children, seeking out romance from the wrong places, and working to publish the captain's story as a book, Blood and Swash, Lucy finds in her secret relationship with Captain Gregg a comfort and blossoming love she never could have predicted. Originally published in 1945, made into a movie in 1947, and later adapted into a television sitcom in 1968, this romantic tale explores how love can develop without boundaries, both in this life and beyond.


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Burdened by debt after her husband's death, Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted. Upon discovering the rumors to be true, the young widow ends up forming a special companionship with the ghost of handsome former sea captain Daniel Gregg. Through the stru Burdened by debt after her husband's death, Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted. Upon discovering the rumors to be true, the young widow ends up forming a special companionship with the ghost of handsome former sea captain Daniel Gregg. Through the struggles of supporting her children, seeking out romance from the wrong places, and working to publish the captain's story as a book, Blood and Swash, Lucy finds in her secret relationship with Captain Gregg a comfort and blossoming love she never could have predicted. Originally published in 1945, made into a movie in 1947, and later adapted into a television sitcom in 1968, this romantic tale explores how love can develop without boundaries, both in this life and beyond.

30 review for The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: Vintage Movie Classics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    In a land far, far away, there was once a young girl who saw a delightful movie with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney, that stole her heart and peeked her imagination and set some fairly unrealistic ideas of what love is or at least can be. While browsing library shelves this week, what should that young girl, turned older lady, come across but the book from which that lovely movie sprang. Couldn’t resist. It is a lovely little book, more a novella than a novel. It was exactly the break I needed, h In a land far, far away, there was once a young girl who saw a delightful movie with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney, that stole her heart and peeked her imagination and set some fairly unrealistic ideas of what love is or at least can be. While browsing library shelves this week, what should that young girl, turned older lady, come across but the book from which that lovely movie sprang. Couldn’t resist. It is a lovely little book, more a novella than a novel. It was exactly the break I needed, having just read several mammoth and weighty books. It was serendipity and oddly enough, I could spot every point at which the movie differed from the book (and I last saw that movie over 35 years ago). At moments like these I wish I had the ability to stream movies so that I could run out somewhere and find this one. Still, the sweetness of the book, coupled with the memories that keep playing in my mind, are entirely sufficient to make this a very pleasant interlude. Off I go to the next book that must be read...but, I do thank the spirits of the library for plopping this one, unsought, into my hands.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Beautiful, sad, romantic story. Less than 200 pages, a really quick read. In this case, I thought the movie (1947, and one of my favorites) did a really great job representing the original story. The only thing that was really different is that Lucy had a second child in the book, while in the movie she had only a daughter. My guess is that in the movie, it was too much to try to fit in the plotline an explanation of her relationship with her son; it was interesting to read it here. Side note: t Beautiful, sad, romantic story. Less than 200 pages, a really quick read. In this case, I thought the movie (1947, and one of my favorites) did a really great job representing the original story. The only thing that was really different is that Lucy had a second child in the book, while in the movie she had only a daughter. My guess is that in the movie, it was too much to try to fit in the plotline an explanation of her relationship with her son; it was interesting to read it here. Side note: the edition (1945) I got from the library was a first edition, and the title page said, "This book has been designed in a Victory Format. Smaller type and margins produce fewer pages which permit a vital saving of paper and labor in the manufacture of a Wartime book."--I love brushes with history like this!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Patrice

    As a youngster, I used to watch the television show, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" starring Edward Mulhare and Hope Lange along with Charles Nelson Reilly and Reta Shaw as the indomitable Martha. I always loved the show and it's whimsical take on a haunted sea-side cottage. So, when I happened upon this book at my local library, I decided to read it. The T.V. show was more comical and lighthearted than the book. I never saw the movie made from the book, starring Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney; so I d As a youngster, I used to watch the television show, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" starring Edward Mulhare and Hope Lange along with Charles Nelson Reilly and Reta Shaw as the indomitable Martha. I always loved the show and it's whimsical take on a haunted sea-side cottage. So, when I happened upon this book at my local library, I decided to read it. The T.V. show was more comical and lighthearted than the book. I never saw the movie made from the book, starring Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney; so I don't know how that compares (although now I may see if I can find it on DVD or streaming). The time is 1900 and the book is a more sobering telling of the tale of a widowed woman, Lucy Muir, with 2 young children; that are living in her husband's family home along with his mother and sisters. Lucy feels that she always has to be agreeable around the family and they always see her as "poor Lucy". She decides she wants to be independent and goes about finding a place to settle with the children. She finds Gull Cottage and decides that it's perfect for her and her children's needs. Thus begins the tale. We learn about Lucy's triumphs and tragedies. How the children view their mother and their lives and how a ghost helps to shape Lucy into a person that takes forays out of her comfort zone. All-in-all a good book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    C.

    "The Ghost And Mrs. Muir" is refreshingly unique, surely startlingly original in its day, in beautifully-told prose. Ireland's Josephine Aimee Campbell Leslie was an eloquent, gifted authoress. She acquaints us with Lucy, Anna, Gregg, and Martha endearingly. For superb originality and authorship, five stars are easily earned. I settle at an appreciative four. Despite coming out 71 years ago, even earlier than the goody-goody 1950s, it was disappointing that Lucy quavered and seldom stood her gro "The Ghost And Mrs. Muir" is refreshingly unique, surely startlingly original in its day, in beautifully-told prose. Ireland's Josephine Aimee Campbell Leslie was an eloquent, gifted authoress. She acquaints us with Lucy, Anna, Gregg, and Martha endearingly. For superb originality and authorship, five stars are easily earned. I settle at an appreciative four. Despite coming out 71 years ago, even earlier than the goody-goody 1950s, it was disappointing that Lucy quavered and seldom stood her ground before anyone, except Gregg. She grew and got better but was only unequivocally firm about residing in her seaside house. One shocking attitude was Gregg declaring she could have his money and Lucy wondering if it should go to a relative. In the 1940s, didn't friends become family? If Gregg liked a cousin less than Lucy, her pets, and children; why hesitate? The owner of the money wants you to take it. Whom are people helping, by professing independence and declining assistance they need? Lucy bought the house but Josephine did not clarify if that store was depleted. When Lucy and her family struggle again, we wonder about it. On the subject of follow-up information, I would have delighted in more evolved outcomes generally. Anna and Cyril have happy lives with Grandchildren. With Cyril secure in his career, Lucy could have taught him something by revealing everything about the famous book. It would have been a breeze to share Gregg's protective presence with Anna. In lieu of, it should have afforded me tremendous gratification to know she would recount all of that information to her progeny, at least in a personal letter or will. We could do without the final paragraph. Prior to it, the end was unexpected in its spiritual jubilance. It leaves us floating upon that thought with wonderment and a smile.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    It's been years since I saw the movie so my memories of it are a bit hazy. However, I do find the novel to be really good. I especially love the idea that narrowminded people that don't care about other's can't hear the captain's voice. They are shut off spiritually. Anyhow, I've wanted to read the books for years and I'm glad to say that the book was just as good as hoped it to me. Now I want to re-watch the movie! It's been years since I saw the movie so my memories of it are a bit hazy. However, I do find the novel to be really good. I especially love the idea that narrowminded people that don't care about other's can't hear the captain's voice. They are shut off spiritually. Anyhow, I've wanted to read the books for years and I'm glad to say that the book was just as good as hoped it to me. Now I want to re-watch the movie!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sally906

    What a wonderful, sweet and beautifully sad romance. A romance that isn't a romance but really is. I loved it. I saw the old black and white movie years ago - and lapped up the tv series - but this source of those two visual medias is far better. It is the story of a widow who wants to break out of the family restraints and live life her way. She buys a house near the sea and meets it's invisible resident - the ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg. The Captain helps Lucy Muir to live the life she wants What a wonderful, sweet and beautifully sad romance. A romance that isn't a romance but really is. I loved it. I saw the old black and white movie years ago - and lapped up the tv series - but this source of those two visual medias is far better. It is the story of a widow who wants to break out of the family restraints and live life her way. She buys a house near the sea and meets it's invisible resident - the ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg. The Captain helps Lucy Muir to live the life she wants - empowers her to say no - and is there every step of the way. Interfering in-laws, a pompous son, a flamboyant daughter and even a love affair are all handled efficiently with the help of the Captain. Thoroughly recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Closer to 3.5 stars. Isn't it funny when you have watched a movie and more than once, only to find out it was a book written long ago? Of course, the movie was made decades ago but it never occurred to me that it was a book first. I first saw THE GHOST AND MRS MUIR in black and white when I was a teenager and fell in love with the ghostly charm of Captain Gregg, the sweet Mrs. Muir and, of course, the awesome music. Years went by and I saw it again late one night as an adult. I still thought it wa Closer to 3.5 stars. Isn't it funny when you have watched a movie and more than once, only to find out it was a book written long ago? Of course, the movie was made decades ago but it never occurred to me that it was a book first. I first saw THE GHOST AND MRS MUIR in black and white when I was a teenager and fell in love with the ghostly charm of Captain Gregg, the sweet Mrs. Muir and, of course, the awesome music. Years went by and I saw it again late one night as an adult. I still thought it was wonderful but this time I appreciated the costumes and, if I didn't know better, the winds and smell of the sea. I rarely buy movies but this was one time I searched for the dvd and acquired it. It was made in 1947 and, whether you rent it on Netflix or buy it, try to watch the black and white version with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney. Not the TV show. The movie is oh, so, good! But back to the book. I tagged it 'coming of age' because even though Lucy 'Lucia' Muir is in her early 30's and a widow with young children, she has quite a bit of growing up to do. Under the thumb of her sisters-in-law, she is bursting to finally be on her own and Gull Cottage calls to her. Captain Gregg, the original owner, unexpectedly died under unusual circumstances. Not meaning to, the home was left to his good-for-nothing nephew. So he haunts it. And since then, no one has lived there for more than a few hours. Until Lucy 'comes home'. I enjoyed reading how the two originally met. Lucy is earthier in the story and prone to make mistakes. There were even a couple of times I didn't like the decisions she might have made if the Captain didn't get involved. In the book Lucy hears his voice but never actually sees his spirit as in the movie. There are other differences and, as someone else said, it was probably to make the movie flow smoothly. Though I did like the story, if I had to choose between the two I would pick the movie, hands down. This is a fantasy-ghost story-historical romance and slice of life taking place in England-by-the-sea during the early 1900's. It has some 'woooooo' moments but they are light. Read it, watch it or do both and see which one you favor. Just take the time as I did and fall in love with the crusty, cantankerous Captain Gregg.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Julie Durnell

    A perfectly delightful story seasoned with Captain Gregg's salty language-just as good as the movie and perhaps even better! A perfectly delightful story seasoned with Captain Gregg's salty language-just as good as the movie and perhaps even better!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Almeta

    Some of my complaints in reading is that "nothing is happening"; Character Studies are generally not for me; Romances too sappy; Paranormal too unrealistic. So to my surprise I found this book to be a very sweet romantic look at one woman's struggle to mold her life on her terms. I was always tense when others, well-intentioned or not, tried to force her into "doing what was best" for her. To my surprise, I even cried at the end of her journey! A charming story. Some of my complaints in reading is that "nothing is happening"; Character Studies are generally not for me; Romances too sappy; Paranormal too unrealistic. So to my surprise I found this book to be a very sweet romantic look at one woman's struggle to mold her life on her terms. I was always tense when others, well-intentioned or not, tried to force her into "doing what was best" for her. To my surprise, I even cried at the end of her journey! A charming story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lisa - (Aussie Girl)

    This was such a nostalgic read. As a child of the 60's I remember watching the TV version on the ABC right before dinner. And the movie with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney is a romance classic. Such a sweet and classic love story although as a book the characters are a little one dimensional and the writing a tad dated. But the descriptive passages of Gull Cottage and the wind swept cliffs balance this out and I dare anyone to read the last page without a tear in their eye! This was such a nostalgic read. As a child of the 60's I remember watching the TV version on the ABC right before dinner. And the movie with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney is a romance classic. Such a sweet and classic love story although as a book the characters are a little one dimensional and the writing a tad dated. But the descriptive passages of Gull Cottage and the wind swept cliffs balance this out and I dare anyone to read the last page without a tear in their eye!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    Goosebumps at the end. I found it so relatable with so much truth in it. I loved this book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hope

    What can I say? The premise is ridiculous; the conversations about heaven and eternity are plain silly. But I loved this book. It is not the sweet & cute story depicted in the TV series that I grew up watching. The novel begins with Lucy Muir recently widowed and looking for cheap housing. Finding a house with a ghost in it doesn't faze her a bit. As the story progresses, Lucy faces many challenges with her children, her in-laws, her love life (not with the ghost), and her finances. It is her rel What can I say? The premise is ridiculous; the conversations about heaven and eternity are plain silly. But I loved this book. It is not the sweet & cute story depicted in the TV series that I grew up watching. The novel begins with Lucy Muir recently widowed and looking for cheap housing. Finding a house with a ghost in it doesn't faze her a bit. As the story progresses, Lucy faces many challenges with her children, her in-laws, her love life (not with the ghost), and her finances. It is her relationship with Captain Gregg that pulls her through each trial. A very endearing friendship. My only access to this title was through audiobook and I must say that Captain Gregg's salty language (though mild by today's standards) wafted unpleasantly through my head most of the day, which is probably why I didn't give it five stars. Ironically, I think the best way to experience this book is to listen to it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I had no idea that the delightful movie, a favorite since I first saw it as a teen, was based on a book. But lo, it is! A slim little novel, wonderful in every way! A romance of sorts, a ghost story of sorts, and a book about a woman who desperately wants to be LEFT THE HELL ALONE, something which I sympathize with 100%.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️

    Oh, what an absolutely sweet and lovely book this turned out to be. A classic of the era, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir carries the reader on a soothing journey of finding oneself. Lucy Muir wants only to be allowed to live life in her own terms without too much inference from her late husband’s sisters or his mother. To achieve her independence, she moves to a sea side village of Whitecliff and begins life anew in her own terms with her children. But Gull cottage also has another resident, that of a Oh, what an absolutely sweet and lovely book this turned out to be. A classic of the era, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir carries the reader on a soothing journey of finding oneself. Lucy Muir wants only to be allowed to live life in her own terms without too much inference from her late husband’s sisters or his mother. To achieve her independence, she moves to a sea side village of Whitecliff and begins life anew in her own terms with her children. But Gull cottage also has another resident, that of a very handsome ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg. Lucy finds companionship in the ghostly presence of the sea captain and what others believe as loneliness is purely what Lucy desires. As days and weeks turn into years, Gregg forces her to write his life story so that she can have an income and sees her children grow up and choose their own paths into life, grow old and cranky and finally find love and happiness in the beyond. This was purely excellent writing capturing the inner essence of a woman’s basic need of finding peace and simple joy in the day to day happenings of her life rather than be forced into things for someone else. I loved the writing so much, as a major part of it reflects the elemental need of a person and his or her right to choose it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gina Dalfonzo

    Having seen and enjoyed the movie version several times, I was delighted to run across the book! It's beautifully written and a pleasure to read. And while I'd willingly watch Rex Harrison any day of the week and twice on Sundays, I have to say that the role of the captain is better written in the book. His character is more well-rounded and, I might even say, has a more moral point of view. For instance, he insists that Lucy apologize to Martha for her sharp words near the end of the story ("Yo Having seen and enjoyed the movie version several times, I was delighted to run across the book! It's beautifully written and a pleasure to read. And while I'd willingly watch Rex Harrison any day of the week and twice on Sundays, I have to say that the role of the captain is better written in the book. His character is more well-rounded and, I might even say, has a more moral point of view. For instance, he insists that Lucy apologize to Martha for her sharp words near the end of the story ("You can't leave her like that -- weren't you taught as a child never to let the sun go down on your wrath . . . ?"), which is something I would have liked to see in the movie. A real treat, whether you've seen the film or not!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Diamond

    I really, really enjoyed this book. I was skeptical because of the many tepid reviews. I adored the movie; and thought it would provide me further insight to the characters I loved so much in the film. If you like the film I highly suggest you read this book. There are differences; for example Mrs. Lucy Muir has a son in the book, Cyril. However I can see why the film adaptation didn't include him in the story. This is a short book. It's one of those easy, short, lovely books that you can read i I really, really enjoyed this book. I was skeptical because of the many tepid reviews. I adored the movie; and thought it would provide me further insight to the characters I loved so much in the film. If you like the film I highly suggest you read this book. There are differences; for example Mrs. Lucy Muir has a son in the book, Cyril. However I can see why the film adaptation didn't include him in the story. This is a short book. It's one of those easy, short, lovely books that you can read in a weekend. It's also the kind of book that takes you through someone's life in a very straightforward and clear way. I'm surprised by how attached and sympathetic I feel to the main character, Lucy. For a 143 page book, that is. Another thing that surprised me in a good way was the ending. Don't worry I won't spoil anything. I just have to confess I shed tears at the end. I was so happy. I really adored the ending and I thought the novel made some great points about life. The ghost aspect was interesting too. I liked how there were remarks about the afterlife that Captain Gregg made, yet left a lot to imagination. In a way, it was very plausible. It was less a book about a haunted cottage-- and more a book about a woman and how she carved her way in life after the death of her husband, Edwin. Again, if you are considering reading this book I say-- read it!! It's a great read. You'll definitely want to see the movie again after. Whoever says movie adaptations never live up to the books they were created by are wrong in this case.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    I zipped through this one--a charming, delightful novella about a widow, Lucy Muir, wishing to escape her domineering [though well-meaning] in-laws. She begins to exert independence and settles in a cottage by the sea. She meets the ghost of a sea captain, Captain Gregg. The two form an unlikely but warm friendship which lasts through the years. His wisdom and counsel along with prompt action rescue her from several scrapes. To escape penury, she "ghostwrites" [wordplay intentional :)] his memoi I zipped through this one--a charming, delightful novella about a widow, Lucy Muir, wishing to escape her domineering [though well-meaning] in-laws. She begins to exert independence and settles in a cottage by the sea. She meets the ghost of a sea captain, Captain Gregg. The two form an unlikely but warm friendship which lasts through the years. His wisdom and counsel along with prompt action rescue her from several scrapes. To escape penury, she "ghostwrites" [wordplay intentional :)] his memoirs Blood and Swash which become a bestseller. Ending of story just perfect. A heartwarming story laced throughout with gentle humor. No wonder this became a successful Hollywood movie and later a television series! Highly recommended.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    What a delightful, charming book! So quaint and yet quite funny with occasional profound wisdom--a real gem.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    If you were to ask me to name my top two or three favorite fantasy novels, the answer would take me a long time to come up with, given the overwhelming number of possible choices. But if you wanted to know my top two or three fantasy films, well, I could give you that reply fairly quickly. One of them would of course be "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), which I steadfastly maintain must be viewed on the big screen. Next up, for me, is "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T" (1953), co-created by Dr. Seuss himself If you were to ask me to name my top two or three favorite fantasy novels, the answer would take me a long time to come up with, given the overwhelming number of possible choices. But if you wanted to know my top two or three fantasy films, well, I could give you that reply fairly quickly. One of them would of course be "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), which I steadfastly maintain must be viewed on the big screen. Next up, for me, is "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T" (1953), co-created by Dr. Seuss himself. And third, a film that has been charming me (and millions of others) for decades now, 1947's "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." The only one of these three to be shot completely in B&W, the film provided one of my very favorite actresses, Gene Tierney, with one of her greatest roles (Laura Hunt in 1944's "Laura" and Ellen Berent in 1945's color noir "Leave Her to Heaven" being her two greatest, natch), and she was perfectly matched by Rex Harrison's gruff but likeable portrayal. Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz helmed his film with great sensitivity, while composer Bernard Herrmann provided a lush and haunting score, years before his many collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock. But while this film has been a favorite of many for almost 70 years now, few, I have a feeling, have read the picture’s source novel, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," released in 1945 and written by R.A. Dick (the pseudonym for Irish authoress Josephine Aimee Campbell Leslie, who passed away in 1979). Now, however, thanks to Doubleday's Vintage Movie Classics series ("novels that inspired great films"), a new generation will finally be able to read this long-out-of-print wonder. And as it turns out, Dick's original is every bit as good as its film, with some significant differences. In the book, the reader makes the acquaintance of Mrs. Lucy Muir, a 34-year-old (Tierney was 27 when she did the picture), recently widowed mother of two in the England of the early 20th century. Fed up with the stifling attentions of her in-laws, she boldly takes her son and daughter to the coastal town of Whitecliff, where she rents the abode known as Gull Cottage. Lucy soon realizes that the house is haunted by the ghost of its previous owner, the 12-years-dead sea captain Daniel Gregg, with whom she strikes up a reasonably friendly relationship. The captain tells Lucy where he has hidden some gold, allowing her to purchase the cottage outright, and he suffers her to stay on his property with the provision that she will one day bequeath the house to be used as a rest home for retired sailors. As the years pass, the captain helps Lucy in many aspects of her life, giving brusque but sage counsel regarding her snoopy in-laws, her children, and her financial affairs. When Lucy unwittingly has a love fling with a married man, the captain comes to her aid; when Lucy is close to running out of money, he dictates his memoirs to her, which autobiography brings in decades of royalties. The reader senses that the aging widow and the deceased sea captain might have made a perfect couple, despite their bickering, if only...you know, one of them wasn't noncorporeal, and all.... Excellent as the film version is, Dick's book is just as charming, and possibly even more wise, along with those aforementioned differences. (Screenwriter Philip Dunne did a marvelous job at adapting the source novel, and the changes that he made don't really detract from the film's fine qualities.) The two main differences between book and film are that Lucy's son, Cyril, does not appear at all in the picture, not to mention all the subplots pertaining to him--although daughter Anna, played in the film by 9-year-old Natalie Wood, does--and the entire section dealing with that married cad, Miles Fairley Blane (portrayed by the great George Sanders in the film), takes place in an entirely different context. We get to know a lot more about Lucy's and the captain's past in the book, making for more well-rounded characters, too. Gene and Rex, as it turns out, were indeed perfectly cast, although Tierney, who was 5' 7", was surely a taller woman than the diminutive Mrs. Muir, as described by the author. Still, the film does basically hew to the novel fairly faithfully, up to and including that truly lovely finale in the afterlife. And speaking of afterlife, Dick's novel does give us a sneak peek as to what the great beyond will be like, but for the most part, Capt. Gregg says he just doesn't have adequate words (reasonably enough, I suppose), although he surely does dispense words of wisdom aplenty throughout "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." I mentioned that her work is very wise in places, and just take a look at some of the more touching samples, many of them from the mouth of Capt. Gregg himself: "Real love isn't blind, it sees everything and has an endless capacity for forgiving...."; "[children's growing up] means a breaking away...and you wouldn't want them to stay anchored for the rest of their existence, growing barnacles all over them and rotting away with rust...."; "…if you set your ship on a certain course you stick to it; you'd never get anywhere if you navigated backwards half the time...."; "…good and bad doesn't always mean spiritual and unspiritual...."; "knowledge and book learning are not wisdom...."; "loneliness [is] not a matter of solitude but of the spirit and often much greater in company for that very reason...." And on and on. The entire book is like that, full of sage and wonderful commentary. Dick, as it turns out, is a lovely writer, with a winning way with her descriptions of nature and a sure hand at amusing dialogue. For me, her book was absolutely unputdownable. "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" is the sort of book that you wish would go on indefinitely, but sadly, is one that clocks in at under 200 pages. Still, the evenings that I spent with it were very pleasant ones, indeed. I suppose the bottom line is that if you are a fan of the 1947 film (and I cannot imagine any viewer who would not fall in love with it), then you will surely appreciate the added depth and character background provided by Dick's source novel. The new Doubleday edition, incidentally, arrives with an introduction by novelist Adriana Trigiani, who tells us how addicted she was to the film while she was pregnant, and how she loved the fact that Capt. Gregg refers to Lucy throughout the film as "Lucia," which was Trigiani's grandmother’s name. (Indeed, she seems to have written a 2003 novel entitled "Lucia, Lucia.") Her enthusiastic intro (marred only by her saying that Capt. Gregg had died in a house fire, instead of by accidentally gassing himself to death) makes this new edition of a long-unavailable classic even more worthwhile. And I have just noticed that other titles in this inspired series include Davis Grubb's "The Night of the Hunter" and William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson's "Logan's Run"! I might have to pounce on those, too, before they disappear again for decades, although I doubt if either of them will be half as charming as "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." Oh, dear me, I called the book "charming" yet again. And as Capt. Gregg once said, "it's a sign of old age creeping on when you make the same remark twice in as many minutes...." (By the way, this review originally appeared on the FanLit website at http://www.fantasyliterature.com/ ... a most excellent destination for all fans of vintage fantasy fare....)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    With tv on hold right now, it seems that channels are leaning way in to movies for quarantine entertainment...and I am here. for. it. I'm normally not one to prefer the movie to the book, but I'm making an exception here. The movie version of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was so wonderful that I eagerly dove into the book fully expecting a deeper look into the lives - and loves - of these characters. And I suppose technically I did get that with the book...but it wasn't what I had been anticipating. Poo With tv on hold right now, it seems that channels are leaning way in to movies for quarantine entertainment...and I am here. for. it. I'm normally not one to prefer the movie to the book, but I'm making an exception here. The movie version of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was so wonderful that I eagerly dove into the book fully expecting a deeper look into the lives - and loves - of these characters. And I suppose technically I did get that with the book...but it wasn't what I had been anticipating. Poor Mrs. Muir - she's in her mid-30s but is walked all over by practically everyone, including her children. I get that she was meant to be a somewhat sheltered, timid woman, but she felt so, so much younger. Her son (who was mercifully cut from the movie!) was a pure terror and absolute brat even as an adult. While I didn't get as much of a haunted house/ghosty romance as I did in the movie, I'm still glad I read this one. It's super short and was a lovely way to spend a lazy afternoon.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Ideiosepius

    This was a favourite fiction read of my teen years, I finally re-acquired and re-read it and it was as lovely a story as I remembered. Like the Jane Austin books this book satisfies in it's descriptions of people and society, but does so without sermonising. The world is seen only in context of the individuals and their experiences and at the end one closes the book with a feeling of satisfaction at a book well read. It is as good as I remembered it, and I am very happy I have managed to get a new This was a favourite fiction read of my teen years, I finally re-acquired and re-read it and it was as lovely a story as I remembered. Like the Jane Austin books this book satisfies in it's descriptions of people and society, but does so without sermonising. The world is seen only in context of the individuals and their experiences and at the end one closes the book with a feeling of satisfaction at a book well read. It is as good as I remembered it, and I am very happy I have managed to get a new copy. A constant re-read that never disappoints, is as beautifully written every time and as insightful and kind to humanity as ever!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    A delightful short tale of the young widow Mrs. Muir (Lucy) who struggles to find her own way to build a life for herself and her children away from dominant in-laws. When Lucy rents a seaside cottage, she encounters an annoying ghost who befriends her resulting in an unusual relationship and absolutely wonderful ending.. Having seen the movie first enhanced the romantic aspect of the story that is not quite so evident in the book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Fisher

    A quick read that was entertaining and thought provoking at times. LOVED it!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Trisa (Absolute Bookishness)

    The Ghost and Mrs. Muir follows the life and times of Mrs. Lucy Muir, a young widow and mother of two, in search of a life that is truly her own, away from the influence of her in-laws and others. Her search leads her to purchase the former house of Captain Daniel Gregg, who stills haunts its halls (which Lucy is fully aware of when she decides to live there...interesting). Even with her new move, Lucy's quest for independence (of thought and action) is not without challenge from former and new The Ghost and Mrs. Muir follows the life and times of Mrs. Lucy Muir, a young widow and mother of two, in search of a life that is truly her own, away from the influence of her in-laws and others. Her search leads her to purchase the former house of Captain Daniel Gregg, who stills haunts its halls (which Lucy is fully aware of when she decides to live there...interesting). Even with her new move, Lucy's quest for independence (of thought and action) is not without challenge from former and new influences in her life. Imediately, I felt that Lucy Muir was so much more than what most who knew and met her supposed she was--"poor little Mrs. Muir", the demure, timid little creature that everyone must take care of and tell what to do, for her own good of course. (I got the impression that she's just introverted, but is mistakened for being shy, which helped me connect to her that much more. She'll politely listen to and consider your advice and enjoy your company for a while, but prefers to make her final decisions and spend most of her time alone.) I'm sure the woman they "knew" her to be would not have willingly moved into a house haunted by a salty old sea captain, speaking to him and seeking his advice regularly. (Neither would she have gotten involved with anyone like Miles.) And so she was, so much more. And I really loved the spice the captain brought out in her. I loved both Mrs. Muir and the ghost of Captain Gregg, flaws and all. (I couldn't help picturing them as Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison.) Though, at one point, I got really angry and disappointed concerning her behavior with Miles (and how she took out her feelings on others). But I suppose that that was all part of the growing up she had to do. I laughed every time the captain intervened, and at the candid, though often rude remarks, he made about and toward different characters in the book. I truly appreciated the wisdom that Leslie (that's Josephine Aimee Campbell Leslie who penned this book under the pseudonym R. A. Dick) poured through (Professor Higgins..., I mean,) the captain. The ending was sad in some ways and happy in others (when you consider the whole of her life and her descendants), and yet always anticipated (at least, I expected it). Leslie's prose seemed to appropriately depict an aging mind, which, I thought, is very powerful in its impact on the reader. A very interesting, very entertaining book. One of the best books I've read in a while. I laughed, I frowned,...I cried..., I mean, my tear ducts malfunctioned...*clears throat*.

  25. 5 out of 5

    JoAnn

    This is a lovely gem of a book. I liked it more than the movie, which is very good, and am so glad I just happened to see it on the library shelf. It is the story of a young widow with two children who decides to start asserting herself even though it is against her nature to do so. She ends up renting a cottage by the sea that is haunted by the ghost of the sea captain who lived there several years earlier. I was feeling a bit sniffly at the end and then when Capt. Gregg told Lucy she would feel This is a lovely gem of a book. I liked it more than the movie, which is very good, and am so glad I just happened to see it on the library shelf. It is the story of a young widow with two children who decides to start asserting herself even though it is against her nature to do so. She ends up renting a cottage by the sea that is haunted by the ghost of the sea captain who lived there several years earlier. I was feeling a bit sniffly at the end and then when Capt. Gregg told Lucy she would feel better soon and made her apologize to Martha the waterworks started, though it is not a tearjerker sort of book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Still just as delightful as a re-read. Previous review of a different edition: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Still just as delightful as a re-read. Previous review of a different edition: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Lovely writing. Bittersweet. Such an incredible unique story.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I suppose I saw movie based on this book years and years ago, but I couldn't really remember it. I am actually glad I didn't try and find it again before reading this one--it felt like I was meeting everyone for the first time, with no preconceptions. For being so short, this is a truly sweet story about a widow and the ghost of the sea captain who lives in the cottage she rents. The story covers vast swathes of time without ever feeling dismissive or, alternatively, bogging things down. I genui I suppose I saw movie based on this book years and years ago, but I couldn't really remember it. I am actually glad I didn't try and find it again before reading this one--it felt like I was meeting everyone for the first time, with no preconceptions. For being so short, this is a truly sweet story about a widow and the ghost of the sea captain who lives in the cottage she rents. The story covers vast swathes of time without ever feeling dismissive or, alternatively, bogging things down. I genuinely liked the characters and the story that emerged. It felt much more like a D.E. Stevenson or even Berta Ruck novel than I expected. I have very mixed feelings about Mrs. Muir herself. One of the silly, stuffy characters (her son or sister-in-law or someone) describe her as a leaning vine. And it is quite accurate, in its own way. She is a timid woman. She does show bursts of strength and just wants to be left alone, but given the option to flutter into the strong arms of a Male, you rather gather she would. The twist, of course, is that instead of meeting a Male she meets a ghost. And the ghost takes a platonic interest in her (was that different in the movie? I seem to recall this being more romantic. And I mean, it is romantic, but not in the way you expect) and becomes the strength she needs. That's what makes their friendship so lovely. Because of him, she can stand on her own, till the very end. But till the very end, he is still telling her what to do, and that's a bit where my mixed feelings come in. Still, I found this book unexpectedly nostalgic and bitter-sweet. Definitely one I must read again.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

    A good story - which is why Hollywood bought it. However, not all that well written. Rather superficial. The heroine's character was a weak willed sort - she said and did things that made me wonder why the captain wasted his time on her. Other characters are mostly one dimensional. I have a feeling I may have stumbled on one of those instances where the film is actually better than the book. I had to laugh while reading this: ""This is not the least like 'Cranford'," Lucy said." - She wasn't kid A good story - which is why Hollywood bought it. However, not all that well written. Rather superficial. The heroine's character was a weak willed sort - she said and did things that made me wonder why the captain wasted his time on her. Other characters are mostly one dimensional. I have a feeling I may have stumbled on one of those instances where the film is actually better than the book. I had to laugh while reading this: ""This is not the least like 'Cranford'," Lucy said." - She wasn't kidding.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mirnatius

    TW/CW: mentions of suicide (dated) Not bad, just some characterizations that I don’t really vibe with are here. I also found the protagonist’s relationship with her children very unusual. She’s very indifferent to them and I found that really odd.

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