Springtime: A Ghost Story by Michelle de Kretser
“This is a gorgeous, delicately surprising piece of writing. . . . It's like spirit photography, all fuzzy outlines and unaccountable light: a snapshot of something that may or may not exist.” —Terrence Rafferty, The New York Times Book Review
“Springtime is a small and beautifully crafted book, all shining, perfectly polished sentences. It’s slight enough to finish in one sitting, but restrain yourself: Savor every word of it.” —Constance Grady, Vox's "18 New Books to Read this Summer"
“All the traditional pleasures of a ghost story are revived, and cleverly transformed, in de Kretser’s taut, nimble, atmospheric short novel.” —Publishers Weekly
“A subtle and intellectual take on the supernatural.” —Kirkus Reviews
When Frances met Charlie at a party in Melbourne, Australia, he was married with a young son. Now that the couple has moved to subtropical Sydney, a lusher and more chaotic city, Frances has an unshakable sense that the world has tipped on its axis. Everything seems alien, and exotic—and Frances is haunted by the unknowability of Charlie's previous life.
A young art historian studying the objects in eighteenth-century paintings—the material world—Frances takes mind-clearing walks around her neighborhood with her dog. Behind the fence of one garden, she thinks she sees a woman in an old-fashioned gown, but something is not right. It's as if the garden exists in a vacuum suspended in time, "at an angle to life."
Springtime is a ghost story that doesn't conform to the genre's traditions of dark and stormy nights, graveyards and ruins. It breaks new ground by unfolding in sunny, suburban Australia, and the realism of the characters and events make the story's ambiguities and eeriness all the more disquieting. The richness of observation here is immediately recognizable as Michelle de Kretser's, a writer who has been praised by Hilary Mantel as a master of "the sharp, almost hallucinatory detail."
Trade paperback original with french flaps.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle de Kretser was born in Sri Lanka and emigrated to Australia when she was fourteen. Educated in Melbourne and Paris, she is the author of four novels, including the Miles Franklin Award-winning Questions of Travel and the Man Booker Prize longlisted The Lost Dog. She is currently an associate of the English Department at the University of Sydney.