The Ghost of the Mary Celeste

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste

[a Novel]

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
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In 1872 the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle but the crew was gone. While on a voyage to Africa, a rather hard-up and unproven young writer named Arthur Conan Doyle hears of the Mary Celeste and decides to write an outlandish short story about what took place. This story causes quite a sensation back in the United States, particularly between sought-after Philadelphia spiritualist medium Violet Petra and a rational-minded journalist named Phoebe Grant, who is seeking to expose Petra as a fraud. Then there is the family of the Mary Celeste's captain, a family linked to the sea for generations and marked repeatedly by tragedy. Each member of this ensemble holds a critical piece to the puzzle of the Mary Celeste.
Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2014
Edition: First U.S. Edition
ISBN: 9780385533508
0385533500
Branch Call Number: F Mar

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uncommonreader
Aug 04, 2016

This novel is a thoroughly enjoyable and intriguing read. Based on real characters and events, Martin brings together the mysterious disappearance of the crew of the Mary Celeste and the Victorian interest in psychics. Arthur Conan Doyle appears as a bombastic Victorian. Throughout the story is the presence of the sea. Highly recommended.

athompson10 Jul 25, 2015

Based around the mystery of the ship Mary Celeste, the author weaves three intersecting stories across time: the wife of the captain of the ship, a psychic relative and her journalist friend, and Arthur Conan Doyle. The stories touch lightly and are all well written, but there are still many mysteries and loose ends. I enjoyed the writing style but not the nebulousness of the narrative.

ontherideau Jun 11, 2014

My attention was held and released like a ghost ship that drifts in and out of mist in this story. Based on the Mary Celeste, an American brig found abandoned in 1872 and the people whose lives were affected by it in some way, including Arthur Conan Doyle, this tale was sometimes very slow moving and sometimes very enjoyable. It is historical sea tale intertwined with the Spiritualism movement of the time.
The ending left me feeling abandoned. I wondered if my copy was missing some pages. On reflection I see that this work of fiction mirrors the unexplained, crew & passengers disappeared, the ship found intact, floating along on the waves.
Yann Martel and Pat Conroy have written words of praise on the back cover. It merits a read, just don't expect a tidy conclusion, mystery solved. Life isn't always like that.

JCLHelenH Nov 26, 2013

Of course it is haunting. It’s also beautiful and perplexing. Martin weaves her characters together with a fine thread, always leading back to the Mary Celeste. I look forward to reading this one again.

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