Review posted October 12, 2008.
Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press, 2008. 278 pages.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2008: #1 Fiction
When a writer has written fabulous books about writing (The Right to Write is one of Julia Cameron's that I've read.), one always hopes that their own fiction is something you'd want to emulate. Can they practice what they preach?
Julia Cameron can. Mozart's Ghost is a light and delightful love story, with quirky characters you enjoy spending your time with.
All her life, Anna has seen and talked to ghosts. Now, as a single adult, she lives in New York City and makes her living -- well, supplements her substitute teaching income -- as a medium. She lets people know what their loved ones who have gone before want to say to them.
But now a classical pianist named Edward has moved into Anna's building. In the first place, his constant practicing is tremendously distracting. She can't properly hear the ghosts. In the second place, there's a ghost hanging around him, trying to reach the musician through Anna. This ghost thinks himself tremendously important and wants to help Edward so that his own music will be properly appreciated. Anna is not impressed.
But Edward finds a place in her heart despite all her resistance. However, she has no intention of telling him her real job, since she finds most men can't handle dating a medium.
The course of their romance is comically beset with obstacles, like Anna's complete lack of appreciation for Edward's playing, her twin brother's interference, and even the ghost's interference. We feel for Anna and her desire to live a normal life, which simply doesn't seem to be in the cards for her.
This novel is tremendous fun, and peopled with quirky characters who seem like people you might just meet if you happened to knock on an apartment door in New York City.