Book Review: The Word Ghost by Christine Paice

The Word Ghost - Christine Paice

A copy of this novel was provided by Allen and Unwin in exchange for an honest review.


Oh, boy. I was so, so, so looking forward to this book. From the moment I saw the title and that absolutely GORGEOUS cover, I wanted to read The Word Ghost. And then I read the blurb and wanted to get my hands on a copy even sooner.


Sadly, this book did not live up to my expectations of what it would be like.


The whole time I was reading The Word Ghost, I kept on thinking: but what is the point? Now, I am aware that not every story needs a point, but pretty much absolutely nothing happened in this book. We have two romantic flings, a house change, and ghosts. But the romantic flings weren’t life changing, the move was inconvenient at best, and the ghosts were left off as a sort of side story.


I just couldn’t see the point of this novel. Which is really quite sad.


The best part of The Word Ghost was the ghosts. But the thing is – they were barely in it. They were in these choppy little scenes which had no depth or meaning to the overall story, and I was left wondering why they were included at all. There was no emotional gain or loss from them, there was no great life lesson learned about death – it seems like they were included just for the sake of including them.


Rebecca (our main character) barely interacted with the ghosts, and when she did it was only for a few minutes. The Word Ghost was by no means a ghost story, and yet I had gone into the book thinking that it would be. Or at least that they would play some kind of pivotal role in the storyline. But unfortunately, they seem like a plot device to me, and one which had no real substance or meaning, either.


The pacing was a bit all over the place, and sometimes it was hard to wrap my head around exactly how much time had passed between scenes and chapters. Sometimes it would randomly be told that a month had passed, and yet it seemed as if it was simply the next day.


I wasn’t able to connect with any characters, and I wasn’t a particular fan of any of them, either. The only character I enjoyed reading about was Algernon (one of the ghosts), but he featured all too little in my opinion. To be honest, I would have loved him to play a much larger role than the one he was given. He was complex, but his complexities and nuances were left untold and uncovered because of his little page time.


However, I did like the setting and the references to the 70s pop culture. I thought they were interwoven into the story quite nicely, but unfortunately neither were enough to raise my opinion of this book too highly.


All in all, The Word Ghost was a novel not entirely to my taste as a reader.


© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.


Your Turn: Do you ever wish characters were featured more than they were? What was the last book you were disappointed by?