Monday, November 14, 2011

Ghosts of Our Pasts by Sophia Duane (ARC)

This is my first ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), and I was so excited to get it, nevermind that it's not an actual book like I dreamed (a downside of living in Singapore), but an ebook. It took me longer than expected to finish this book though, although that's not the fault of the book, but the fact that my attention span is significantly smaller for ebooks than paperbooks.

To get back on track, Ghosts of Our Pasts is really quite good. I was a bit hesistant about it at first, because I'm Christian so I naturally take a more conservative view to moral matters, but the book really won me over by the end.

-Spoiler Alert-
Essentially, the book is about two wounded souls, Emily, who lost her father at the 9/11 attacks and Will Darcy, who lost his love of his life at the same 9/11 attacks, and how they come together to slowly heal.

Except, it feels like only Will actually moves forward. You see, when we first meet Emily, she's compensating/displacing her emotions by sleeping with guys she doesn't care about. While at the end she does end up in a steady relationship with Will, I felt that she didn't change much, although she made him change. Granted, he was a lot worse, with a fear of tall buildings and others, but I would have liked to see her as less "heroic" and more "becoming-heroic". Will, on the other hand, has a moment in the book where he has to make an explicit choice between the past and the future, and the obvious is a good marker for his character developement. And it didn't help that at that moment, Emily was acting as though she had gotten over her trauma years ago (when it's mentioned in the first few pages that she hasn't).

The book makes me wonder, what would happen if something like that happened to me? The title is a reference to how we can sometimes be stuck in the past, and is (I think), a subtle call to move beyond that. While I would like to think that I have the strength to go beyond crisis's, I doubt if that's true. Up til now, which is about 5, 6 years from when I moved from my childhood home to the house I have now (and is, mind you, less than a kilometer away) and I still think of the 107E (my old home) as "home". It's a bit worrying, I suppose, that I'm so attached to what I have fond memories of, but it is, nonetheless, better than to be wholly unsentimental. Or at least, that's what I'm telling myself.

It's strange though, how now I'm aiming to go somewhere completely unfamiliar for university. I suppose it's because I don't like change so much, that if I study in another school in Singapore, it will invariably disappoint me for not being MGS (my school for the first 10 years of schooling), and so, I'd rather be somewhere else.

After this rather weird digression, I think I should just end of by talking about the book again. Plot-wise, I really would have prefered to know that the tragedy that they experience is 9/11, which would have made their actions more understandable. Maybe it's because I'm not American, that I don't realise it from the start, but still, it would have been nice to know.

All in all, I recommend this book, but only to mature readers (no kiddies). It's not very explicit (thankfully), but it does seem to portray drugs in a positive light, which I think is not only ironic, but would outweigh the benefits of reading this novel about healing.


  1. I love the look of your blog. The typewriter is awesome!
    This was a really good review. I love reading reviews about books that are outside of my normal genre.
    New follower :)

  2. @Books and Beyond: thank you! The typewriter was a photo of the one lying around in my house that I took, I really like the old things like that. Thanks so much for following!


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