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The Ghost Orchid

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In her enthralling novels of literary suspense, Carol Goodman writes stories that resonate with emotion set in lush landscapes that entice the senses. Now, with The Ghost Orchid, a narrative that seamlessly weaves together the past and the present, Goodman creates her most lyrical and haunting work to date. For more than one hundred years, creative souls have traveled to U In her enthralling novels of literary suspense, Carol Goodman writes stories that resonate with emotion set in lush landscapes that entice the senses. Now, with The Ghost Orchid, a narrative that seamlessly weaves together the past and the present, Goodman creates her most lyrical and haunting work to date. For more than one hundred years, creative souls have traveled to Upstate New York to work under the captivating spell of the Bosco estate. Cradled in silence, inspired by the rough beauty of overgrown gardens and crumbling statuary, these chosen few fashion masterworks–and have cemented Bosco’s reputation as a premier artists’ colony. This season, five talented artists-in-residence find themselves drawn to the history of Bosco, from the extensive network of fountains that were once its centerpiece but have long since run dry to the story of its enigmatic founder, Aurora Latham, and the series of tragic events that occurred more than a century ago. Ellis Brooks, a first-time novelist, has come to Bosco to write a book based on Aurora and the infamous summer of 1893, when wealthy, powerful Milo Latham brought the notorious medium Corinth Blackwell to the estate to help his wife contact three of the couple’s children, lost the winter before in a diphtheria epidemic. But when a séance turned deadly, Corinth and her alleged accomplice, Tom Quinn, disappeared, taking with them the Lathams’ only surviving child. The more time she spends at Bosco, the more Ellis becomes convinced that there is an even darker, more sinister end to the story. And she’s not alone: biographer Bethesda Graham uncovers stunning revelations about Milo and Corinth; landscape architect David Fox discovers a series of hidden tunnels underneath the gardens; poet Zalman Bronsky hears the long-dry fountain’s waters beckoning him; and novelist Nat Loomis feels something lingering just out of reach. After a bizarre series of accidents befalls them, the group cannot deny the connections between the long ago and now, the living and the dead . . . as Ellis realizes that the tangled truth may ensnare them all in its cool embrace. From the Hardcover edition.


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In her enthralling novels of literary suspense, Carol Goodman writes stories that resonate with emotion set in lush landscapes that entice the senses. Now, with The Ghost Orchid, a narrative that seamlessly weaves together the past and the present, Goodman creates her most lyrical and haunting work to date. For more than one hundred years, creative souls have traveled to U In her enthralling novels of literary suspense, Carol Goodman writes stories that resonate with emotion set in lush landscapes that entice the senses. Now, with The Ghost Orchid, a narrative that seamlessly weaves together the past and the present, Goodman creates her most lyrical and haunting work to date. For more than one hundred years, creative souls have traveled to Upstate New York to work under the captivating spell of the Bosco estate. Cradled in silence, inspired by the rough beauty of overgrown gardens and crumbling statuary, these chosen few fashion masterworks–and have cemented Bosco’s reputation as a premier artists’ colony. This season, five talented artists-in-residence find themselves drawn to the history of Bosco, from the extensive network of fountains that were once its centerpiece but have long since run dry to the story of its enigmatic founder, Aurora Latham, and the series of tragic events that occurred more than a century ago. Ellis Brooks, a first-time novelist, has come to Bosco to write a book based on Aurora and the infamous summer of 1893, when wealthy, powerful Milo Latham brought the notorious medium Corinth Blackwell to the estate to help his wife contact three of the couple’s children, lost the winter before in a diphtheria epidemic. But when a séance turned deadly, Corinth and her alleged accomplice, Tom Quinn, disappeared, taking with them the Lathams’ only surviving child. The more time she spends at Bosco, the more Ellis becomes convinced that there is an even darker, more sinister end to the story. And she’s not alone: biographer Bethesda Graham uncovers stunning revelations about Milo and Corinth; landscape architect David Fox discovers a series of hidden tunnels underneath the gardens; poet Zalman Bronsky hears the long-dry fountain’s waters beckoning him; and novelist Nat Loomis feels something lingering just out of reach. After a bizarre series of accidents befalls them, the group cannot deny the connections between the long ago and now, the living and the dead . . . as Ellis realizes that the tangled truth may ensnare them all in its cool embrace. From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for The Ghost Orchid

  1. 4 out of 5

    Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️

    A past mystery, an artists retreat, a huge rambling mansion, romance,suspense and paranormal effects, doesn't it make a staple for a surefire thriller? Then Carol Goodman has essentially done that. The Ghost Orchid is an engaging thriller, there's seances, physics, ghost children, underground tunnels, fountains,statues and what not. The past comes alive thru the eyes of Cornith and in the present Ellis begins unraveling the mystery of the deaths of the children and about the actual events that t A past mystery, an artists retreat, a huge rambling mansion, romance,suspense and paranormal effects, doesn't it make a staple for a surefire thriller? Then Carol Goodman has essentially done that. The Ghost Orchid is an engaging thriller, there's seances, physics, ghost children, underground tunnels, fountains,statues and what not. The past comes alive thru the eyes of Cornith and in the present Ellis begins unraveling the mystery of the deaths of the children and about the actual events that takes place at the seance conducted by Cornith. The writing flows effortlessly and the twists and turns keeps the reader engaged so much that it is hard to put down this book. But I would have loved to have little more depth in the reasons for the haunting of children.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Freesiab

    I found this book on a reputable list of “Books you can’t put down” but I kept putting it down until I DNF. Reading shouldn’t be a chore. I love gothic mysteries, and this is GM lite? It never found a convincing voice. It’s set in contemporary times but has some weird throwback vibes to different decades of GM without settling into one. Is the protagonist an artist in residence or a psychic medium? There was one part that showed some promise with an apparition but it quickly lost the tension. Li I found this book on a reputable list of “Books you can’t put down” but I kept putting it down until I DNF. Reading shouldn’t be a chore. I love gothic mysteries, and this is GM lite? It never found a convincing voice. It’s set in contemporary times but has some weird throwback vibes to different decades of GM without settling into one. Is the protagonist an artist in residence or a psychic medium? There was one part that showed some promise with an apparition but it quickly lost the tension. Life is short, next book is what I’ve settled on for my one star DNF rating

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    I rescued this book from a trash box and found it in the garage. It's a gothic mystery about... WRITING. YES I rescued this book from a trash box and found it in the garage. It's a gothic mystery about... WRITING. YES

  4. 5 out of 5

    Felisa Rosa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Reading a book you don't like but can't put down is a peculiar form of torture. As with the last book I read by Goodman (The Drowning Tree, which I really enjoyed) The Ghost Orchid is a little heavy on the symbolism and stuffed with allusions to 19th century art and literature. Both books hinge on a suitably creepy mystery from the past. But while The Drowning Tree seemed refreshingly intelligent, The Ghost Orchid is just overblown, and most of the characters (particularly the protagonist) are v Reading a book you don't like but can't put down is a peculiar form of torture. As with the last book I read by Goodman (The Drowning Tree, which I really enjoyed) The Ghost Orchid is a little heavy on the symbolism and stuffed with allusions to 19th century art and literature. Both books hinge on a suitably creepy mystery from the past. But while The Drowning Tree seemed refreshingly intelligent, The Ghost Orchid is just overblown, and most of the characters (particularly the protagonist) are vaguely annoying and not very well developed. Generally, I'd assume that a book with ghost children, seances, magicians, a house with secret passageways, ancient Indian burial grounds, and haunted scotch would be awesome, but you know what they say about too much of a good thing... The Ghost Orchid sinks beneath the weight of its own dramatically creepy ambiance.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha Vohn

    I truly enjoy this book, and come back to it every so often. It's become my spring tradition to revisit a Goodman novel and this year I was feeling Ghost Orchid. What's not to love? A writer's community flocking to a secluded artist commune in upstate New York. A mysterious haunted past, laced with myth and the supernatural. And of course there is Goodman's beautiful, fluid prose and lush descriptions that make her novels so enjoyable. While it's not as dear a favorite as The Lake of Dead Langua I truly enjoy this book, and come back to it every so often. It's become my spring tradition to revisit a Goodman novel and this year I was feeling Ghost Orchid. What's not to love? A writer's community flocking to a secluded artist commune in upstate New York. A mysterious haunted past, laced with myth and the supernatural. And of course there is Goodman's beautiful, fluid prose and lush descriptions that make her novels so enjoyable. While it's not as dear a favorite as The Lake of Dead Languages or The Seduction of Water, The Ghost Orchid is the kind of book you can cuddle up into and escape life for awhile. It's riveting, engrossing, literary fun.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    There is something different about listening to a story versus reading it for yourself. Sometimes those differences can be the difference between enjoying a book and not. I often have a problem with tone of voice when I'm reading. If you get the wrong tone of voice in your mind it completely changes the meaning of the written word. One of the things I like about listening to an audio book is that you don't have to figure out the tone of voice for each character, the reader does it for you. I rea There is something different about listening to a story versus reading it for yourself. Sometimes those differences can be the difference between enjoying a book and not. I often have a problem with tone of voice when I'm reading. If you get the wrong tone of voice in your mind it completely changes the meaning of the written word. One of the things I like about listening to an audio book is that you don't have to figure out the tone of voice for each character, the reader does it for you. I really enjoyed Jen Taylor's reading of this book, she brought all the characters to life with a variety of voices and hit the exact right tone. Ellis Brooks is working on a novel at the artist's retreat, the Bosco Estate, in upstate New York. Several other writers are staying in the mansion as well. Ellis is working on a historical novel based on events that took place at Bosco back in 1893. Corinth Blackwell was a medium who came to Bosco in 1893 because the mistress of the house, Aurora Latham, wanted to communicate with her three dead children. The séance that was supposed to reconnect her with her children turned deadly and resulted in the kidnapping of the Latham's only surviving child. There are so many things I liked about this book, I liked the reoccurring imagery the author uses: water, bondage, blackbirds, Native American lore. I liked the parallel story lines between the past and the present, it added to the complexity of the story as a whole. I liked the sense of adventure that threads through the story with the character David researching the gardens at the Bosco estate. And there was an element of fun that reminded me of listening to spooky ghost stories as a child. I also liked the setting, being a resident of upstate New York and hearing all the places Goodman refers to gave me a little thrill. She mentions Lily Dale the spiritualist community in western New York which I drove past many times on my way to college at SUNY Fredonia, though I never visited. She also mentions the place of my birth and does so in a way that is perfectly fitting for this story. The legend of how the city of my birth was named fits hand in glove with the fiction Goodman has created for her characters. This is a story where I could actually suspend my disbelief and just enjoy it for what it was, a fun well thought out ghost story. I highly recommend the audio book version, I listen to audio books while driving but found myself so hooked into this story that I had to bring it inside to listen to while I was baking.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    This time around, Carol Goodman serves up a ghost story with her signature solving-mysteries-from-the-past plot. The chapters alternate between the past and the present, and I really like the way they're linked together. The setting, a mansion with a sprawling garden populated by statues and a maze, comes to life with Goodman's descriptions and the gardens almost become a character themselves. I think The Lake of Dead Languages remains my favorite Goodman novel, but this one comes in at a close This time around, Carol Goodman serves up a ghost story with her signature solving-mysteries-from-the-past plot. The chapters alternate between the past and the present, and I really like the way they're linked together. The setting, a mansion with a sprawling garden populated by statues and a maze, comes to life with Goodman's descriptions and the gardens almost become a character themselves. I think The Lake of Dead Languages remains my favorite Goodman novel, but this one comes in at a close second.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anne Gerth

    A light summer read shouldn't be this hard I picked this book up in the bookstore because I was drawn to the cover design.I had never read any of Carol Goodman's books before. I wanted a quick enjoyable summer read! If I put this book down for a few days, I had to think too much to figure out where I was at in the story when I picked it back up. I found her writing technique a tad cumbersome. The book was OK, but it will not go on my great books list. A light summer read shouldn't be this hard I picked this book up in the bookstore because I was drawn to the cover design.I had never read any of Carol Goodman's books before. I wanted a quick enjoyable summer read! If I put this book down for a few days, I had to think too much to figure out where I was at in the story when I picked it back up. I found her writing technique a tad cumbersome. The book was OK, but it will not go on my great books list.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Blair

    The third Carol Goodman book I've read, this wasn't as good as The Lake of Dead Languages but redeemed the author in my eyes significantly after the uninspired Arcadia Falls, and it was actually more original than both. The alternate chapters moving between past and present worked well as they kept me interested in both strands of the story. I was also both surprised and pleased at the inclusion of a genuine supernatural element. I think it all dragged on a bit too much towards the end though - The third Carol Goodman book I've read, this wasn't as good as The Lake of Dead Languages but redeemed the author in my eyes significantly after the uninspired Arcadia Falls, and it was actually more original than both. The alternate chapters moving between past and present worked well as they kept me interested in both strands of the story. I was also both surprised and pleased at the inclusion of a genuine supernatural element. I think it all dragged on a bit too much towards the end though - there were far too many twists on top of twists, which were probably intended to make the plot seem deeper and more complex but actually just made the whole thing confusing; it could have ended much sooner and still have been a great story. As a side note, I was really happy Ellis ended up with Nat.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ameerah

    I read this book on the recommendation of a co-worker. I bought it used for one cent and I'm glad I didn't spend a penny more. This is not to say that the book is horrible- not by any means.It is simply that my expectation far exceeded the actual story itself. I am not a big fan of ghots mysteries which is essentially what this book is. There is not a lot of character development before you are launched into the "boo!" plotline. I didn't find myself caring about any of the characters at all. The I read this book on the recommendation of a co-worker. I bought it used for one cent and I'm glad I didn't spend a penny more. This is not to say that the book is horrible- not by any means.It is simply that my expectation far exceeded the actual story itself. I am not a big fan of ghots mysteries which is essentially what this book is. There is not a lot of character development before you are launched into the "boo!" plotline. I didn't find myself caring about any of the characters at all. The protagonist is a young woman who we find out is a. psychic but doesn't like to talk about it. B. Is the daughter of a hippie mother who she resents. and C. who is thin and tall. That's about all we ever reaslly know about her and the story suffers for it. I never discourage anyone from reading something they are interested in so I say go for it if you'd like but don't expect a huge pay off.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty

    I read this as I was on a writing residency and it's set at a writing residency. Mine had a significantly lower quantity of sexy affairs, secret mysteries and hidden grottoes. In fact it was mostly just awkward dinner conversation, trying to time morning showers so you didn't have to pass anyone in the hall wearing a towel, staring out of windows, going for walks while trying to avoid speaking to anyone, and occasionally writing stuff. Sorry to disappoint you if you hoped writing residencies are I read this as I was on a writing residency and it's set at a writing residency. Mine had a significantly lower quantity of sexy affairs, secret mysteries and hidden grottoes. In fact it was mostly just awkward dinner conversation, trying to time morning showers so you didn't have to pass anyone in the hall wearing a towel, staring out of windows, going for walks while trying to avoid speaking to anyone, and occasionally writing stuff. Sorry to disappoint you if you hoped writing residencies are really like the one in this book. Anyway the book was fine though it got a bit silly.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia

    Solid 3 Stars Suspense/Twists: ★★★.5 Characters: ★★.5 Ending: ★★★ I thought this was a thriller and a mystery about the death of three children and the disappearance of one. It turns out to mainly be a ghost story. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the build-up does not deliver in the end. I was very invested to find out what happend to all those children?! To find the answer and think... That was it?.. All of it? It also became quite repetitive and I really think that however this book is alr Solid 3 Stars Suspense/Twists: ★★★.5 Characters: ★★.5 Ending: ★★★ I thought this was a thriller and a mystery about the death of three children and the disappearance of one. It turns out to mainly be a ghost story. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the build-up does not deliver in the end. I was very invested to find out what happend to all those children?! To find the answer and think... That was it?.. All of it? It also became quite repetitive and I really think that however this book is already not very big... it could have done without a 100 pages or so.

  13. 4 out of 5

    dmayr

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A robust dual-timeline and multi-layered tale of seances, dead children, ruined gardens, broken statues and dried-up fountains, of love lost and found, of betrayal and possessions. It does become rather heavy-handed with the supernatural in the end as everyone gets possessed and become parallel with what happened with the past. Still craving for more of Goodman's writing though. A robust dual-timeline and multi-layered tale of seances, dead children, ruined gardens, broken statues and dried-up fountains, of love lost and found, of betrayal and possessions. It does become rather heavy-handed with the supernatural in the end as everyone gets possessed and become parallel with what happened with the past. Still craving for more of Goodman's writing though.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Stanley

    Loved. Loved. LOVED!!!!! This book. Could not put it down for a second. Old secret gardens, old house, old status, old wealthy families. OMG loved it!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn (Lost as Alice, Mad as the Hatter)

    3.5 stars I did really like this book. The setting is at a 100 year old artist's retreat...at least in present day. The book hops between the two time periods: present day and a hundred years ago when a child went missing and many other children died. There are quite definitely two stories going on in this novel. One hundred years ago, a family lived in the manor whose lives where mired in murder and deceit. A grieving mother and manipulative father (or is it truly the other way around...)contriv 3.5 stars I did really like this book. The setting is at a 100 year old artist's retreat...at least in present day. The book hops between the two time periods: present day and a hundred years ago when a child went missing and many other children died. There are quite definitely two stories going on in this novel. One hundred years ago, a family lived in the manor whose lives where mired in murder and deceit. A grieving mother and manipulative father (or is it truly the other way around...)contrive to bring Corinth, a medium, on the property in order to lay to rest Aurora and Milo Lantham's deceased children who haunt the halls and gardens. But both Aurora and Milo have ulterior motives for bring Corinth into there home. And trapped in the manipulation, Corinth turns to the one man who she believed betrayed her hears before: Tom who also seems to be working for more than one master. In the midst of dozens of dead children and a medium's fear, we have Alice, the Lantham's one surviving child who disappears on the night if the final séance, and leaves people speculating all these years later. But Alice isn't the only one to disappear that night. And she isn't the only innocent caught in the Lantham's deadly games. In the present day, a series of writers have taken up residence at the archaic manor for the atmosphere and retreat to aide their craft. Bosco was once a stately manor that has since become an artist's colony. The manor has is also home to a vast garden were statuary and fountains are only outdone by the maze at the center of the gardens were a hidden cemetery can be found. But the ghosts are not confined to the burial ground. Nat is a writer who had one fantastic bestseller out of the gate and now fears he is letting the writing community down because he cannot produce another. He is a good looking man haunted by his grandfather's cruelty and the fear of failure. Beth is a biographer who decided to write about the matriarch, Aurora Lathman, whose tragic history caused her to create the gardens for her dead children and leave Bosco as an artist retreat after her death. She struggles to get free of her history with Nat, while trying to solve the mystery of the estate. David is a landscape architect whose sole interest is in the restoration of the gardens. But once it becomes clear that there was more going on than what the history would suggest, (view spoiler)[ like why the matriarch created secret passages throughout the house and gardens, the headstone for a child who supposedly disappeared ten years after her death, and finding bones left in a well, (hide spoiler)] he is unable to keep from trying to unravel the mysteries. His curiosity will but him and the woman he has come to admire in more risk than he can know. Our main present day character is really Ellis Brooks. An aspiring author who comes to the retreat in order to write a historical fiction with sensational story of what happened 100 years ago as foder. However, Ellis bites off more than she can chew. Being the daughter of a medium who denies her own gifts, it is only natural that she connect with the place as so many people died and disappeared on the premises so long ago. As Ellis has vivid dreams while writing Corinth's story, the house and gardens themselves take on a life of their feeling that a medium of Corinth's taken has finally come to release the ghosts from their trap. But can Ellis unravel what happened all those years ago before she and everyone else succumb to the brutal reality that the past has come back for vengeance? As specters begin appearing and guests end up possessed, it becomes clear that Ellis will near to embrace the part of her she fears, or everyone around her will be just more ghosts to the manor already rife with them. The characters are relatable and Bosco ends up with a life of its own. The touches of mythology were refreshing and researched. I also found the historical setting accurate without being overly descriptive. Both story lines blend seamlessly into one another as the past and the present collide. My one complaint was the first third of the book. The story took a bit to get going. I found myself wonder when the author was going to stop setting the scene and get the story moving. Once it got going though, it kept me hooked. Ghosts, mediums, frauds, jealousies, murder, deceit, and rivalry...it's all there. I loved it. I did find myself predicting a few of the plot twists, but I have gotten very good at that sort of thing and didn't feel it detracted from the ghost story. Mainly I just had to down-star the book because of that first third. I had to wade through it before I found what the motivation was.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    As always, I adore Carol Goodman's books. She's an amazing writer and I never seem to get enough! I adored the atmosphere in this book as well as I liked the other 4 I read by her already. The aspect of 2 storylines was lovely too! As always, I adore Carol Goodman's books. She's an amazing writer and I never seem to get enough! I adored the atmosphere in this book as well as I liked the other 4 I read by her already. The aspect of 2 storylines was lovely too!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sujatha Reghunathan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The book started off well, mysterious and gripping but the narrator ruined it very soon and very well. Ellis came off as a lazy, procrastinating, silly and amateur writer whose narcissistic tendencies devour the most interesting aspects happening at Bosco. Ellis seems more interested in which male guest is pursuing her rather than sit down and actually get some work done. While Bethesda drowns herself in research, Ellis wanders around the place, hardly putting in any effort to do anything worthw The book started off well, mysterious and gripping but the narrator ruined it very soon and very well. Ellis came off as a lazy, procrastinating, silly and amateur writer whose narcissistic tendencies devour the most interesting aspects happening at Bosco. Ellis seems more interested in which male guest is pursuing her rather than sit down and actually get some work done. While Bethesda drowns herself in research, Ellis wanders around the place, hardly putting in any effort to do anything worthwhile. All her tools for her book, she gets from David who seems interested in her. Aurora Latham was a most fascinating character. Her obsession with building up Bosco to be a mausoleum for artists was captivating and her constant sighs and laments added value to the gothic novel. All in all, the novel was good except for the narrator who always seems to be falling either in the snow or in the bog or wherever else she was, waiting for male hands to catch her.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Breanna Wilson

    I think Carol Goodman is definitely becoming one of my go-to authors even if her books have been up and down for me. This story contained a great mystery, beautiful scenery and atmosphere, and a great blend of Native American and Greek mythology in her standard setting of gorgeous upstate New York. I can't confirm this, but to me, it felt like this was the most personal of her novels that I've read. That is, I felt you could really feel the emotion and research poured into this story, more than I think Carol Goodman is definitely becoming one of my go-to authors even if her books have been up and down for me. This story contained a great mystery, beautiful scenery and atmosphere, and a great blend of Native American and Greek mythology in her standard setting of gorgeous upstate New York. I can't confirm this, but to me, it felt like this was the most personal of her novels that I've read. That is, I felt you could really feel the emotion and research poured into this story, more than other of her novels I've read. And finally we get some ghosts! Seriously, this was probably one of the most explicitly ghostly books that I've read in a long time. Quite refreshing and pretty fun. A couple of flaws here and there, but otherwise, I think she is such an underrated author who deserves way more recognition.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A decent beach read from Carol Goodman. I've noticed she tends to repeat the same theme over and over again in her books. There's a mystery and the key always involves some kid being switched with another one at birth. While I liked the idea of the artists colony and all the personality clashes, it seemed to drag on for a long time. Usually these gigs last weeks or at most a few months. This one appeared to go for a year. Plus there were 2 stories happening at different times and Goodman wasn't a A decent beach read from Carol Goodman. I've noticed she tends to repeat the same theme over and over again in her books. There's a mystery and the key always involves some kid being switched with another one at birth. While I liked the idea of the artists colony and all the personality clashes, it seemed to drag on for a long time. Usually these gigs last weeks or at most a few months. This one appeared to go for a year. Plus there were 2 stories happening at different times and Goodman wasn't always clear about who was talking. But, if you can get through all that, it's a decent enough story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    This book is in no way a masterpiece, but its a fun summer read. It is a mix between a mystery, and some history in upstate NY. Its quick to finish and pretty entertaining.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Adams

    First novel I’ve read by this author .... loved it. Awesome story. Learned lots of new words. A bit creepy. Very cinematic. Can’t wait to read more

  22. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    3.5 out of 5 stars

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This book had potential, but it was dragged down by cliched plots, mediocre writing, and not enough editing. For starters, the author is in love with metaphors and similes. I don't know when I last read a book so overflowing with them. Even the author-character in the book loves them, and gives them what I guess to be Goodman's defense, that (loosely paraphrased) metaphors are where the magic happens because they transform language. There's nothing wrong with a well-crafted metaphor, but there i This book had potential, but it was dragged down by cliched plots, mediocre writing, and not enough editing. For starters, the author is in love with metaphors and similes. I don't know when I last read a book so overflowing with them. Even the author-character in the book loves them, and gives them what I guess to be Goodman's defense, that (loosely paraphrased) metaphors are where the magic happens because they transform language. There's nothing wrong with a well-crafted metaphor, but there is also nothing wrong with using them wisely. The use of metaphors in this book were overwhelming, crowding each other out so that you couldn't separate the good from the bad or stop them from numbing your mind. On top of that was one too many literary devices. We had a frame story, a mix of predestination and cyclical timelines, and so much symbolism strewn about the book it was practically an avalanche by the end. This wasn't a tightly constructed plot line so much as the forcing of as many coincidences and supernatural moments into the pages as possible. To make my own metaphor, if this were a dress on Project Runway, Michael Kors would be bemoaning the overly fancy sleeves and the pattern mixed with stripe and the shoes, belt, and handbag that all coordinate. Editing is a force of good, not evil, when done correctly. I wish more people believed that. (And just once can I please have one frame story where the characters of the two different times are not related to each other in any way?)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Lindsay

    I so wanted to like this book. Having read several other Carol Goodman titles in the past, and given that THE GHOST ORCHID had been recommended to me by other writer-reader friends, I nabbed a copy and eagerly cracked the spine. The first page or two got me. For nearly 100 years creative types have travelled to Bosco for the quiet and solitude to work on their masterpieces (which are not limited to just the literary, but also musicians). I like old houses, I like to write, and I like to get away I so wanted to like this book. Having read several other Carol Goodman titles in the past, and given that THE GHOST ORCHID had been recommended to me by other writer-reader friends, I nabbed a copy and eagerly cracked the spine. The first page or two got me. For nearly 100 years creative types have travelled to Bosco for the quiet and solitude to work on their masterpieces (which are not limited to just the literary, but also musicians). I like old houses, I like to write, and I like to get away from time to time. Plus, I like history. It seemed like a perfect read. While the writing isn't bad--it's actually quite good--I found myself restless and bored while reading. What was going on? Why should we care? I know, it sounds really harsh. But I kept reading. Our protagonist is working on her debut novel at the famed historic Bosco retreat in which she needs to gather data. Working in a frame model of a book-within-a-book, Goodman introduces characters and events of her protagonist's novel-in-progress as the protagonist goes on to discover clues and participate in the overall mystique of the house. It's gothic, it's romantic (sort of, at times), but it's not really all that scary as in horror, or even tingles up the back. Not really. I did find the Victorian spirtitualism intriquing and the story sort of melded well with the previous book I'd read: LEAVING TIME by Jodi Picoult, which touches on some of the same themes but in a very different manner. Overall, I guess I was a tad bit disappointed in THE GHOST ORCHID.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I couldn't put this down - I'd argue this one of Goodman's best books. Maybe not as realistic fiction (this one was even more out there than others) but the pacing was well-done, and I like the interspersed chapters from 1893, most of the perspective coming from Corinth Blackwell. The ending was a little far-fetched (view spoiler)[Was everyone at Bosco related to the folks who were there in 1893? I actually was expecting David Fox to be related to the gardener Landini! Then there was of course th I couldn't put this down - I'd argue this one of Goodman's best books. Maybe not as realistic fiction (this one was even more out there than others) but the pacing was well-done, and I like the interspersed chapters from 1893, most of the perspective coming from Corinth Blackwell. The ending was a little far-fetched (view spoiler)[Was everyone at Bosco related to the folks who were there in 1893? I actually was expecting David Fox to be related to the gardener Landini! Then there was of course the whole baby-switch thing that was very coordinated - I assume the women were fools... with Alice's complexion and hair color, how did Aurora not figure out that she wasn't hers? And how did Wanda end up being the nanny at Bosco? And most of all, I don't understand the thought of Aurora's that if she makes her remaining living children sick, and then makes them better, that will make up for the deaths of the babies in the past. How could this not go wrong?! (hide spoiler)] However, these flaws didn't take away my enjoyment of this novel. I thought that the landscape of this book was more accessible than those in some of her other books (I remember having trouble picturing the scenes in Arcadia) and that most of the action took place rather than written in old manuscripts.(view spoiler)[I also liked but wasn't expecting Ellis to end up with Nat. I'm a little confused how that happened, but David turned out to go a little nuts with Bethesda. (hide spoiler)] Highly recommend!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I wanted to love this book and couldn't wait to read it. When none of my local bookstores had it in stock for me to buy, I went so far as to go to the library - which is kinda rare for me, but ultimately, it was just ok. I didn't hate it, I just didn't love it or think the story was particularly interesting - it sorta reminded me of TV movies that try to be scary or creepy, but aren't really. I wish there had been more focus on a real world mystery without so much supernatural ghost / haunted ga I wanted to love this book and couldn't wait to read it. When none of my local bookstores had it in stock for me to buy, I went so far as to go to the library - which is kinda rare for me, but ultimately, it was just ok. I didn't hate it, I just didn't love it or think the story was particularly interesting - it sorta reminded me of TV movies that try to be scary or creepy, but aren't really. I wish there had been more focus on a real world mystery without so much supernatural ghost / haunted gardens type of stuff. I also wish I felt more for any of the characters, but unfortunately it was very much a "character A does action B" while "character b says this or that" and that was about the extent of it. Sadly, there wasn't enough character development for me to become attached to or care about any of them. While I wouldn't really recommend this book, I may try others from Goodman to see what else she can do.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melinda the Town Crackpot 🪴📚

    For someone who does not read many ghost stories, this might be a chilling read. For me, it was predictable and cliche. No one in this book should ever be allowed to have a hot beverage, because every time anyone holds a teacup in this book, they drop it and the cup shatters. (I highly recommend plastic “sippy” cups only.) I know, I know, the color “tea stained” is constantly used, I GET it, ok? The writing style was over-educated and downright stuffy at times. I felt like I should be circling a For someone who does not read many ghost stories, this might be a chilling read. For me, it was predictable and cliche. No one in this book should ever be allowed to have a hot beverage, because every time anyone holds a teacup in this book, they drop it and the cup shatters. (I highly recommend plastic “sippy” cups only.) I know, I know, the color “tea stained” is constantly used, I GET it, ok? The writing style was over-educated and downright stuffy at times. I felt like I should be circling all the metaphors and keeping track of the symbolism for a grade, because all examples of literary devices were so abundant. Not fun to read unless you want to show the ladies in your book club how smart you are. I absolutely trudged through the first part of this book. It did begin to hold my interest by the second half, but upon finishing, my first thought was, “that’s it??” It just wasn’t worth it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    JackieB

    This was fantastic. It's about a mansion in the USA which has been turned into a retreat for creative people. However there was a mysterious scandal involving sceances and ghosts (or maybe trickery) in the house when it was still a private house. One of the writers is writing a novel based on the scandal and that's where our story starts. This is what I would class as a gothic novel. It's not scream out loud scary but the author builds up a nicely spooky sinister atmosphere. I don't mean that go This was fantastic. It's about a mansion in the USA which has been turned into a retreat for creative people. However there was a mysterious scandal involving sceances and ghosts (or maybe trickery) in the house when it was still a private house. One of the writers is writing a novel based on the scandal and that's where our story starts. This is what I would class as a gothic novel. It's not scream out loud scary but the author builds up a nicely spooky sinister atmosphere. I don't mean that gothic novels aren't scary but it's the way she builds up the atmosphere that makes me class it as gothic. There are some loose ends that never get resolved and some amazing coincidences but I forgot about them because I was enjoying the story so much. Overall I though it was a good page turner.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cora Lockhart

    If I had to choose a favorite Carol Goodman, it would be the Ghost Orchid. I'm not sure if this is because this was the first of her books that I'd ever been introduced to by my good friend, Carla, or if because the language and characters and setting were so magical that I couldn't help but be captivated. When a first-time novelist is invited to an upstate New York artists' colony, she becomes convinced that the real story lies within the gardens and underground tunnels of the Bosco estate, whe If I had to choose a favorite Carol Goodman, it would be the Ghost Orchid. I'm not sure if this is because this was the first of her books that I'd ever been introduced to by my good friend, Carla, or if because the language and characters and setting were so magical that I couldn't help but be captivated. When a first-time novelist is invited to an upstate New York artists' colony, she becomes convinced that the real story lies within the gardens and underground tunnels of the Bosco estate, where years before, a famous medium held a seance, which involved the disappearance the children who belonged to Bosco's enigmatic founder, Aurora Latham. I lost many hours of sleep, staying up at night reading this little beauty, and it was well worth it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Clarissa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This novel runs parallel stories one contemporary and one set in the 1890s both stories take place in the Hudson Valley on an estate which has become an artist residence in the present. The stories begin to merge as supernatural elements from the past infiltrate the present. In 1893 Corinth who is a medium has been asked to come to the Lathem estate to communicate with Aurora Latham's dead children. In the present at the artist colony Ellis is writing a novel about Corinth, and another character This novel runs parallel stories one contemporary and one set in the 1890s both stories take place in the Hudson Valley on an estate which has become an artist residence in the present. The stories begin to merge as supernatural elements from the past infiltrate the present. In 1893 Corinth who is a medium has been asked to come to the Lathem estate to communicate with Aurora Latham's dead children. In the present at the artist colony Ellis is writing a novel about Corinth, and another character is writing a biography of Aurora Latham. I spent much of this book worrying that a child character was going to die. Spoiler (she doesn't) but it made it hard for me to enjoy the rest of the book.

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