Robert Girardi: Madeleine's Ghost



T what it was advertised as Too many books to try to waste precious time persevering when I m not enjoying one I very rarely read novels written by men any but for some reason I picked this one off my shelf after a fifteen year snooze there and I am so glad that I did It is simply one of the best novels I ve ever readIt didn t strike me that way in the beginning though it was good enough We meet Ned Conti a rather directionless down at the heels graduate student who gets a ob finding documentation to support the canonization of a nun who died nearly a century ago The past seems to have it in for Mr Conti his apartment is haunted by a female spirit and he himself is haunted by the memory of a short but intense affair with a woman named Antoinette in New Orleans ten years beforeAntoinette Rivaudais is indeed unforgettable A raven haired pill popping charismatic lost wayward rich girl she captured Ned s heart and mine as well She is so flawed but so heartbreakingly so In time the ghost reveals what she wants and Antoinette reappears in Ned s life It may kill him or save him to pursue the three interwoven storylines counting the nun to their resolution I ll ust say that by the time I closed the book I knew I would never forget it. Rits Ned will embrace a dead saint and a living sinneras a beautiful ghost offers him her desire And his destinySet amid the sleepless energy and seething passion of New York and New Orleans Madeleine's Ghost is a spellbinding novel of lost love history and desire a work of startling originality that is at once exuisitely written and compulsively readable.

Ertwining of past and present that keeps things interesting but is not difficult to follow Hey I m old sometimes I don t want to work that hard to follow a storyAnyway this one is a recommended read I debated between 4 and 5 stars but decided on 4 stars because while I liked the story it wasn t so gripping that I ust couldn t put it down which is one of my personal criteria for a 5 star fiction rating Now who s up for a trip to New York or New Orleans 35 stars There s much to like in this New YorkNew Orleans ghost story but it s a bit too ambitious at times Although he goes a little overboard in his descriptions of Brooklyn and New Orleans Girardi shows in his debut novel that he s clearly a talented writer I hope to read some of his work Thanks to my friend Anne for recommending and loaning the book to me There needs to be another option on Goodreads Gave Up This is supposed to be a story about a ghost and a saint in Brooklyn I actually rather liked the first person present manner of writing and the descriptions of place and detail in general are excellent But I lost the ghost and certainly didn t expect to get in back during Part Two set as it is some ten years before and in New Orleans Trying to be too clever I think and no. S East Village bars where he and his friends drown their sorrows in drinkBut Ned is about to heed another call the siren song of New Orleans where the history of countless lost souls seems to rise from the steaming streets and where ten years before he ended a brief passionate affair with a woman whose memory has haunted him ever since Here in a city of spi.

If you are interested in books about Louisiana and New York this book might be worth the read Unfortunately the setting is pretty much the highlight of this story The main character is a rather uninteresting professional student who doesn t really do much himself so much as respond to what happens about him sarcastically responding and giving a long winded historical viewpoint of things that rambles on and on Much of this could have been edited down without the story suffering at all A love story ghost story and mystery all rolled into one and set in the two cities with which I am most familiar outside of my own hometown New York and New Orleans It was this fact of the story s dual locations that caused me to pick the book up in the first place I love to read about places that I have actually visited I also love ghost stories so this was sort of a slam dunk for meThe author does a good ob of painting the urban and bayou backdrops for the story without having location overpower the action The characters particularly the cohorts of Ned Conti the narrator of the story are vividly drawn I felt that if I did not precisely know them then I had at least seen them on my visits to these two colorful cities The story is good with an int. Brooklyn needs a saint Ned Conti needs a stipend So the struggling young historian agrees to trace the mysterious past of a Brooklyn nun for evidence of miracles Trapped in a neighborhood of cheap rents and failed promise in a rent controlled apartment suddenly inexplicably seized by a beautiful and angry ghost Ned's only refuge is the F train to Manhattan'.

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Robert Girardi is the author of four previous novels and one volume of novellas all of which have been widely translated He has written for film and television His nonfiction pieces and reviews have been published in The Washington Post Washingtonian The New Republic The National Review and Landscape Architecture Magazine among other publications A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop an