- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (March 12, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451674651
- ISBN-13: 978-1451674651
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,030,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
American Ghost: A Novel Paperback – March 12, 2013
"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
In the opening of Owens’ fourth novel, Jolie Hoyt, the daughter of a Pentecostal preacher in the backwater town of Hendrix, Florida, is unwittingly set up on a date by her dear friend, Lena. The suitor in the offing is one Sam Lense, a Jewish anthropology student from Miami investigating the history of Native Americans in Hendrix. Jolie is smitten by the smart and handsome big-city boy, who, if nothing else, could be her ticket out of her dreary hometown. But when Sam is shot during a family hunting trip, it becomes clear to Jolie that his “research” is far edgier than simple ethnography. He’s seeking closure for a crime committed against his family many years before. In a heartbeat, Sam disappears from Hendrix—and Jolie’s life. More than a decade later, a black businessman out to settle a score of his own arrives in Hendrix and brings the one-time lovers together again. The past haunts the present in this engaging, if occasionally overwrought, offering inspired by actual events. --Allison Block --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Part-thriller, part romance, and based on an actual event in the author's hometown, this wrenching novel is a fine example of southern storytelling." (People Magazine)
"Owens brings the vibrancy of a small Southern community to bear on a gothic tale." (The New York Times)
"A taut yarn about breaking silence."
“Owens weaves complex narrative strands together in a captivating story abundant with historical context and characterizations that reflect the foibles of human nature.” (Shelf Awareness)
"The past haunts the present in this engaging... offering inspired by actual events."
“A skillfully written, well-researched book…Owens brings a dark period of history to light in a book about Southern Allegiances, racial tensions and shameful acts.”
Owens’ voice [is] so authentic and her characters [are] so alive. Their motivations, reactions and dialogue feel so true, they could-almost be real.”
"Owens’ detailed and well-researched portrait of west Florida bloodlines benefits from her obvious affection for its cast of colorful characters, and her descriptions of small-town life are a joy to read." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"A taut literary thriller, as well as a wrenching meditation on the consequences of denying a dangerous past." (Texas Observer)
"This compelling novel begins as a love story...but it turns into a thrilling, multilayered mystery and a fearless look at the tragic delusions of American racism." (San Antonio Express)
"American Ghost is equal parts mystery and thriller. While the novel is rooted in a real-life incident,it remains a pure work of fiction in the best sense: a rich portrayal of a small town where the lines between black and white become blurred. Despite its dark subject matter, the novel is infused with light and hope—no small feat,given that [it] gracefully weaves everything from anti-Semitism and hate crimes to first love and family loyalties into the story. American Ghost is sure to resonate with readers long after its stunning final pages." (Bookpage)
"American Ghost is part mystery, part history, part anthropology — and all great Southern fiction." (National Public Radio)
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
Angelia Vernon Menchan
Everyone in the book is "ethnic", not a white Christian. Sam has come to town to find out about his great grandfather and locate his grave. Sam is Jewish, a rare sighting in the back country of Florida. But he has told the town he is researching the roots of local Indians. Jolie is a Hoyt. Her grandmother says they are little Black Dutch. This is a name that comes to light to hide a variety of backgrounds, be they converted Jews in Spain, part black, part Indian.
The novel unwinds with the ghosts lingering on the edges of the stories. Soon we see that all of our characters have been tainted by this past. The ghosts are in fact the pasts that each person bears. The writing is subtle. Each word is well considered. The author never uses sensationalism or coyly palms a secret in the name of plot alone. The characters are complex and hugely satisfying. This is a lovely pearl of a book, and I hope people read it.
Nevertheless, we ain't real likely to ever find anything. So I guess I'll have to settle for Janis Owens' "American Ghost." Which was a real find and a literary treasure if there ever was one.
Although rooted in 1930s panhandle Florida "cracker" land, "American Ghost" is a contemporary drama. (Spoiler Alert) A tale of people whose lives are about to change because of sixty year-old events: a brutal "spectacle" lynching and the savage murders of the victim's entire family.
And I can't say enough about what a splendid -- no, great -- book this is.
It's simply not possible to do a better job of giving a sense of time, place and what drives the characters. And the story itself is compelling in the extreme. The terms, "page turner" and "hard to put down" were coined for books like these.
I did, however, dislike some of the jacket blurbs, in which Ms. Owens was described as a southern writer. Which, in my mind, seemed to confine her to a genre or niche. Well, maybe I'm reading a slight into those blurbs that isn't really there. But I would hope that her next book jacket proclaims her to be a Great (!) American writer. Or, at least, a Great (!) southern one. Because "American Ghost" is one of the best books ever written.
Parallel to this glimpse of forces unseen serving to dampen these lives runs a love story. Love and pride in self, family, past and place competes with romantic love. No one kind of love completely wins nor loses, but all characters find a contentment with his or her place in this oleander of voices in the palms and river banks.