Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Ghost in Love

Every Friday , the New York Times publishes a special section in their newspaper entitled Escapes. Different from the Travel section, Escapes showcases second home locales or places just perfect for the perfect, well..... escape. I both look forward to, and slightly dread, dipping into these weekly pages, for I know I shall find myself sorely tempted by the words I read and the pictures I see. Faded seaside towns with steep cobbled streets where I might just find the weathered beach cottage I keep in my treasure chest of secret longings. Or green mountain villages where people of a lilting language could point me in the direction of that stone cottage with the diamond paned windows that often haunts my daydreams. Every Friday morning with paper and coffee, I pore over this section and my mind begins to roam. Soon I am perusing real estate websites and visualizing paint colours. By no means am I disenchanted with my current place in the world, but there is something that, to me at least, is so deliciously tempting about the idea of escape.

Fortunately for me, there are all sorts of definitions for escape. And one of the best, and certainly most cost efficient, is within the pages of a book. I have just returned from such an escape and am still unpacking all my shiny souvenirs. What a time I had! Generally, when I pick up a new book, I have some sort of hint as to what to expect. Either I have read a review, been given a recommendation, or perhaps I am already acquainted with the author and have returned to sample more delights from their literary table.

But I had no idea where I was headed when I cracked open
The Ghost In Love by Jonathan Carroll and began my journey through its pages late one stormy evening last week. I settled back into my pillow and just held on for dear life. All the dependable touchstones and signposts were thrown out the window pretty soon after page one and I was left as giddy as a buttoned-up passenger on a runaway train of ideas.

With talking dogs, reincarnations, and angels of death, not to mention time travels, picnics in the rain with all one’s former selves...and yes, even a ghost in love, this surreal book may not be for everyone. Frankly, I wasn’t sure if it was for me. But I soon discovered it felt quite refreshing to read something that stretched out my mind like a difficult yoga pose. I was entranced by the sheer scope of the writing and I relished my escape into this author’s expansive imagination.
The Ghost in Love may not equal that stone cottage in the faraway trees, but it will more than suffice as my escape for this week.

Painting above: On Top Of The World by James Hill


  1. Hmm... I may have to read that. :-)

  2. love the painting, that gal certainly has it going on! and I will find that book - sounds wonderful!

  3. Willhave to look for the book and I adore the picture!!! Sarah

  4. escape - I fondly remember my mother giving us our lunch pails as we would profess to "running away" down to the rock quarry. I love the idea of escape, even if it is just down the road....I am easily transported, a book, a paper, a cup of coffee, a walk or even here for that matter.

  5. I love to escape to your blog!

  6. Pamala, Teri, and Edward, (I must include the whole gang!)

    So true that a book can be an escape, and a place...maybe a state of mind. I think I had a tendency to escape into romance novels as a teen...I still can make a few days dissappear with a good novel or series.

    I like to be in an uplifted state of mind but I frequently confront all that I would rather avoid. I don't want to induldge my desire to escape...I know it can become a habit.

    I have one child who has spent much of his life in fantasy...he's a constant reminder to me...don`t over induldge! Face life! Celebrate what is real in your world! Appreciate life and the people in it.

    But I do love a guilty eacape pleasure every now and then!!! And books are certainly allowed. A ghost in love...hummm...

    Btw- Sorry for the over-share! Love to you! <3

  7. I know the feeling of wanting to be in another place.But I am always mindful of that much simpler story 'The Old Woman who lived in a Vinegar Bottle' never satisfied and always wanting the next thing.

  8. I am the most avid NYT fan... and luckily many of the Escapes are often right here in NY!

  9. Books are good excapes! I have plenty of thos escapes:)

  10. Hello P&E,

    Any book that is written well ought to be able to transport us to the place and/or time of its subject; doesn't even have to be fiction. But a fantastical world can make a good destination!

  11. this is the greatest image !!!!!!!!

    i wish it were me !

    lick's to edward ?

  12. Sounds like a very interesting book Pamela. I love reading the travel section and dreaming of far-off places. Sometimes just getting really engaged in an illustration is a wonderful escape.

  13. My little get away is reading your blog, them closing my eyes to vision.... Thank you for the golden moment. Have a golden weekend! xoxo

  14. What an evocative review PAmela, xv.

  15. That sounds like some escape.

    Interesting to read your favourite May things.

  16. Thank you for dropping by for a visit & your sweet comments.

    We have 5 dogs. Murphy-cocker spaniel, Bailey-peke/pom/?, Sammie-chihuahua, Chief-cairn terrier/chihuahua, and Roxy-chihuahua. (Coco belongs to my DIL's mom. They also have another tiny Yorkie named Chanel, and I pooch sit for them sometimes.)

    Hugs for Edward! He's gorgeous!

    ☺♥☺ Diane

  17. That sounds like a roller-coaster of a ride of a book Pamela. Sometimes it is good to read something out of our comfort zone and stretch outselves.

    I laughed when I read about the dream homes. I am the same with Country Life. A very posh mag with post house adverts. So many beautiful manor houses and cottages. I picture myself in them all the time and hope for the lottery win.

  18. I am hooked on escapeism...its the window to the world..and my little stories I write..creating a world of my own:)

    I know what you mean with the dream homes;)...well, I am of now to look for the book....have a wonderful weekend.

  19. Oh Pamela, you have tempted me to join you on this particular escape with The Ghost in Love. I would love to accompany you to the green mountain village too, but.... doesn't fit the schedule at the moment.
    A lovely post that made me smile. Thank you.

  20. A few ideas popped into my head as I read this. Indulge me:

    My husband and I are terrible about looking at British home shows and "escapes to the country" - even the running of bed and breakfasts tempts us. We are so bad for that falling into the clutches of what could be all the while knowing it most likely never will.
    Do you watch such shows Pamela?

    Your book sounds a bit like one that I read years ago (in a way) - a fantasy novel that I normally would not have touched but the cover illustration caught my eye and I was hooked from the first words on the first page. It was called "The Little Country" by Charles deLint. I think you would love it!

    I also thought of the movie, "Ryan's Daughter" as I read your post.

  21. I was nodding all the way through re. escapes, dreams and imagination working overtime.
    The book doesn't sound like my usual cup of tea but if you recommend it I will seek it out, thank you.

  22. I love the "Escapes" section on Friday in the Times! I always pick out which house I'd like to buy in their special profiles.
    Do you also get the occasional glossy paper Corcoran "properties for living" listing inserts in the Times? This week they had my favorite Victorian home in Brooklyn listed! It has a Tiffany window and a wrap around porch and a tower room...sigh.

    The book that is taking me on a wonderful journey this week is "Like Water For Elephants"


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