Peregrine's Rest

Jennifer Gostin, Author Permanent Press (NY) $26 (256p) ISBN 978-1-877946-74-5
Despite some ghoulish fun and literate prose, Gostin's first novel, set on and around Halloween in an old Maryland cemetery, walks cardboard eccentrics through a creaky plot. Hesper Dance, live-in caretaker of Peregrine's Rest, a graveyard founded in 1848, is a manic-depressive, introverted ex-librarian who seeks refuge from life's disappointments by communing with the dead. Her lifelong ambition is to see a ghost. Inadvertently aiding her in this quest is her new assistant, Quentin Pike, world traveler, adventurer, mapmaker, and Lydia Webkin, a septuagenarian comic-book collector. Ghostly doings will ultimately unite Hesper and Quentin in romantic love, while Lydia, haunted by the spirit of a dead cartoonist with whom she had an affair 40 years ago, attracts evil in the person of twins Argus and Audrey Malvin, a deadly brother-and-sister team prone to grave-robbing, counterfeiting and malice. This offbeat entertainment is full of comic-book and cemetery lore, and Gostin spikes the spooky intrigue with deft approaches to the question of whether we are bound to our bodies or whether something survives (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Paperback - 236 pages - 978-1-57962-000-4
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