Blue Balliett,
Nantucket Ghosts
(Down East, 2006)

Nantucket Ghosts is a page-turner right from the beginning. This is quite simply one of the best ghost-story collections I have ever read, especially for one that is concerned with such a concise regional area. The stories are well varied, the writing is snappy and moves right along, and the storytellers keep nicely to the point. There's no embellished fluff or rehashing of old legends here. ALL of these stories are first-hand accounts witnessed by contemporary people. Some of these tales will make you smile, some will make you chuckle and others will quite effectivley put a lead ball in the pit of your stomach.

Author Blue Balliett has nicely captured the essence of Nantucket by letting the people describe their heritage for themselves. Her detailed descriptions of the architecture bring these places alive. Nantucket is a place you'll never forget once you have been there, and these candid people will help show you why.

In addition to all the local history and genealogy, doors open and close, sturdy latches won't stay shut, lights turn on and off, voices of all types haunt present-day residents, ghostly footsteps abound and much more!

I was especially intrigued by the lady whose entire family of ancestors seems to be staying on in her house with her.

Having grown up in a Massachusetts home built in 1788, I can appreciate the value these residents place on preserving their historical and generational traditions. This book will give you a real sense of how these people relate to their island, their homes and their living history. If you are interested in Nantucket, or just love curling up with a good ghost story or two, this one's for you.

book review by
Lee Lukaszewicz

25 September 2010

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