While he didn't think for a moment that it might be a ghost, it did occur to him that a ghost could be a useful narrator for a novel. Not at all coincidentally, Norman lives in a farmhouse in Calais. He set The Ghost Clause in his real-life farmhouse, in his real-life town. And all kinds of real-life characters crop up throughout the book, happily recognizable to Vermont readers and to the characters themselves, presumably.
Including people who make his Vermont life wonderful felt like a fitting way to give voice to his appreciation, especially because he anticipates that this will be his final novel. Not his final book, but his final work of fiction. I don't think it's a big philosophical disquisition. I think it's purely experiential.
And those things are deeply celebratory to me. It's good; it's healthy; it's clear. And The Ghost Clause seems, in some ways, an elegy to Howard Norman's own life in Vermont, using a ghost narrator to get beyond the fact that the author himself is still living. There's a central plot that moves the story along: a young child who has gone missing, presumed to be kidnapped.
Zachary Anders is the private detective assigned to the case. But within that story are the love stories of two marriages: Muriel and Zachary, now living in the Calais farmhouse, and Simon and Lorca, with Simon in the "ongoingness" and Lorca in an apartment nearby. And yet, the throughline is clearly a reflection on place and home and what makes a life. At one point in the book, Simon Inescort writes, "In my life in Vermont, everything I loved most happened most every day.
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Book Review: Charmers skim the surface in 'Letter From Point Clear'
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The Complete Guide to Query Letters
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Very Good dust jacket. Seller Inventory J00A Hard Cover. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. The mysterious occurrence leaves a visible mark for the Owens, too, to contemplate, and the house, at least for the moment, is big enough to accommodate everyone's truth. In the end, the story leaves Bonnie and Pastor in Point Clear. Morris and Ellen return to the safety of Cape Cod, where they finish out their summer vacation.
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Ellen reports to her husband that "the visit, overall, had a very unfinished quality. For a writer with such a rich imagination, "Letter From Point Clear" has not gone far enough to suggest what it might be like for us all to really live under one roof. Photo: Ho. Caption Close.
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'Point Clear' mines murky depths of the soul
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