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Morag Joss
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Puccini`s Ghost
hardcover
390 pages
Awfull tale of a girl whining about her life from the perspective of herself as an even more whiny old woman. It is a somewhat gothic coming-of-age novel centering on the young protagonist and her wildly dysfunctional family. The narration shifts from chapter to chapter between the memories of the late middle-aged Lila home to bury her father, and the 15 y/o Lila living out the events at the heart of the novel. After her labile and indifferent mother has a "breakdown", the mother's brother, Uncle George, comes from London to stay, to settle her down. He impulsively decides to organize an amateur production of the opera "Turandot" to showcase her operatic skills, and those of Lila. He invites his 20 y/o friend Joe up from London to sing the male lead. Lila, desparate to escape her dreary life in a small Scottish town, immediately falls for Joe and spends the bulk of the novel fantasizing about their future life together. (SPOILER ALERT) It's immediately obvious that there's more going on between George and Joe than a mutual love of music, and we know early on where this will lead for poor Lila. When the inevitable finally occurs, Lila ends up destroying the lives of all concerned in a dramatic outburst. The only real suspense in this novel is how long it will take Lila to figure things out. Regrettably for the reader, this takes several hundred pages. Buried in this novel is an excellent short story, or a good novella.

Don't bother
1/10
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