The Ghostlights, by Gráinne Murphy

29 September 2021

The Ghostlights, by Gráinne Murphy, book cover

Life can become routine and monotonous. The day-in and the day-out. Often it happens gradually, creeps up from behind, you’re simply too busy to notice. You settle into a pattern, kid yourself you’re content, and believe it. It’s called getting into the zone; the comfort zone. And there you might stay, until something comes along and shakes you out of your self-induced stupor.

Ethel owns a guesthouse in rural Ireland, but leaves its management to Liv, one of her daughters, in The Ghostlights (published by Legend Press, September 2021), the second novel by Cork based Irish writer Gráinne Murphy. Meanwhile her other daughter, Marianne, who is disillusioned with life, returns from Dublin, for some time out. Her homecoming coincides with the arrival of a guest, a man named Fred.

A few days later, Fred is found drowned in a nearby pond, his death a suicide. The tragedy brings the local community together, but the demise of the elderly guest takes a toll on Ethel, Liv, and Marianne. While their neighbours mourn Fred’s passing, the three women find themselves pondering their relationships, their place in the scheme of things, some poor life decisions, and just where it is that they are going.


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