Book Review: The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, by Valerie Martin

The Ghost of the Mary CelesteThe Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is a frustrating book. It's very well written, which makes one want to keep reading, looking for answers to the mysteries that are presented from the very first chapter. I found myself even gasping aloud at one point. There are several characters that come in and out of the chapters. I appreciated the dates on the chapters, so I could keep track of the characters.

The story is about:
1- A ship called the Mary Celeste which was discovered floating in the sea with no crew and a full cargo hold.

2- A woman called Violet Petra, who is a medium and ages several decades throughout the course of the book.

3- Arthur Conan Doyle (Yes, that Arthur Conan Doyle).

4- The Spiritualist Craze of the Victorian Era.

5- The Sea, which is very much a character.

The novel starts with a very compelling bit about a Captain's Wife, who has gone on an ocean journey with her husband, and the demise of the two of them at Sea. It goes on to introduce members of the Captain's Wife's family, and from there to a sad chapter about the fate of one of the narrators, who is a sympathetic character that is also very likeable. It goes on in a sort of dis-jointed fashion, tying all of these people and situations together, with some super-natural doings, and ultimately ends with questions still unanswered. It's unsatisfying. It doesn't tie up all the loose ends. I felt, pardon the pun, cast adrift after the final chapter. I felt that it was missing the true final chapter.

So, well very engaging, and as I said previously, well-written, in the end, I can't recommend it.



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