The Ghost of the Mary Celeste

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste A captivating atmospheric return to historical fiction that is every bit as convincing and engrossing as Martin s landmark Mary Reilly In the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered

  • Title: The Ghost of the Mary Celeste
  • Author: Valerie Martin
  • ISBN: 9780297870326
  • Page: 254
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A captivating, atmospheric return to historical fiction that is every bit as convincing and engrossing as Martin s landmark Mary Reilly 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 They were never found This maritime mystery lies at the centerA captivating, atmospheric return to historical fiction that is every bit as convincing and engrossing as Martin s landmark Mary Reilly 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 They were never found This maritime mystery lies at the center of an intricate narrative branching through the highest levels of late nineteenth century literary society 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 cast holds a critical piece to the puzzle of the Mary Celeste These three elements a ship found sailing without a crew, a famous writer on the verge of enormous success, and the rise of an unorthodox and heretical religious fervor converge in unexpected ways, in diaries, in letters, in safe harbors and rough seas In a haunted, death obsessed age, a ghost ship appearing in the mist is by turns a provocative mystery, an inspiration to creativity, and a tragic story of the disappearance of a family and of a bond between husband and wife that, for one moment, transcends the impenetrable barrier of death.

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      Published :2019-07-11T09:26:48+00:00

    2 thoughts on “The Ghost of the Mary Celeste

    1. Valerie Martin is the author of nine novels, including Trespass, Mary Reilly, Italian Fever, and Property, three collections of short fiction, and a biography of St Francis of Assisi, titled Salvation She has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Kafka Prize for Mary Reilly and Britain s Orange Prize for Property Martin s last novel, The Confessions of Edward Day was a New York Times notable book for 2009 A new novel The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is due from Nan Talese Random House in January 2014, and a middle grade book Anton and Cecil, Cats at Sea, co written with Valerie s niece Lisa Martin, will be out from Algonquin in October of 2013 Valerie Martin has taught in writing programs at Mt Holyoke College, Univ of Massachusetts, and Sarah Lawrence College, among others She resides in Dutchess County, New York and is currently Professor of English at Mt Holyoke College.

    2. This is by no means the worst book I have read, but it is definitely one of the biggest disappointments in a long time. I was hoping for a titillating historical-fiction mystery about the real-life vessel Mary Celeste, found floating on the sea without her crew. What I got was a fragmented and vapid tale about well. I'm not sure. Arthur Conan Doyle's fascination with spiritualists? I am totally clueless as to why this book was written at all, I've rarely read a story with so little direction or [...]

    3. The Mary Celeste was a merchant ship discovered in December, 1872, under sail heading towards the Strait of Gibraltar. No one was on board. With one lifeboat missing, the ship was presumed abandoned. Strangely, though, there was no indication of what caused the captain to leave the ship, along with his wife, two year old daughter, and seven crew members. There were no signs of a struggle, there was plenty of food and water, and the ship was still seaworthy. Engraving of the Mary Celeste at the t [...]

    4. The British merchant brig Mary Celeste was discovered afloat and empty on December 5, 1872. A lifeboat was missing, along with eight crewmen and two passengers. She was still seaworthy and under sail; she had six months worth of provisions on board; and the crew’s valuables were intact. There was no sign of a struggle, no apparent reason for the ship to have been abandoned. None of the passengers or crew were ever heard from again. Thus was born the greatest maritime mystery of all time. If yo [...]

    5. Has there ever been a more compelling maritime mystery than the fate of the Mary Celeste? In 1872, it was found drifting in the Atlantic Ocean – deserted, unmanned, yet seaworthy and with its cargo fully intact. Valerie Martin uses this mystery as a main plot device in her latest novel – a page-turning triumph that kept me up for two nights way past my bedtime. But into this mystery, she weaves two additional threads. One focuses on Arthur Conan Doyle, fittingly, the creator of one of the mo [...]

    6. I love the story of the Mary Celeste. I first read about it in a Reader's Digest anthology of mysteries and unexplained events that was on my parents shelf in the 70's. I read the article probably forty times. It was so captivating. A ship found with the crew missing and the only clue being blood on the floor. To further add intrigue, the crew included the captain's wife and their young daughter, Sophia. Her fate is a mystery lost to history much like that of young Virginia Dare in the lost Roan [...]

    7. Though the fate of the Mary Celeste is not the primary focus of the novel, its title is fitting as its 'ghost' haunts almost every section. The several narratives, all chronological except for the last, carrying the overall story forward, include a third-person harrowing sea tale that occurs prior to the Mary Celeste's; the diary of a young woman who is related to victims of the first tale; another third-person account of a sea voyage, this time of the young Arthur Conan Doyle, the ship's doctor [...]

    8. So much to love about this book, from the gorgeous writing (not so gorgeous that it shouts, Pay attention to me! but sheer pleasure to read) to Martin's skillful weaving together of real events, actual people, and fictional characters. As a historian, I was never pulled out of the story by some anachronistic detail. Rather, I was delighted by Martin's ability to inhabit the mid- to late-nineteenth-century period in which she sets this tale. It all felt plausible -- no, more than plausible -- it [...]

    9. This book, about the maritime mystery of the ghost ship Mary Celeste, started off great. The author draws you in to the Briggs family and their losses at sea (pre- Mary Celeste). We meet Sallie/Sarah and her sister who claims to communicate with dead loved ones and the trouble this causes in the family. After that, the book spirals off into different tangents. The first involves Arthur Conan Doyle (who really wrote a famous story about the Mary Celeste) and the second involves the mysterious spi [...]

    10. I did quite enjoy this book about the mystery surrounding the ship the Mary Celeste, my only reason for not giving it 5 stars was the fact that the main storyline branches out to a few other storylines that cross paths, and so at first it made me wonder where all this was headed. I wished that all the stories would have been more neatly connected, but I will say I did like Valerie Martin's writing style and her descriptions with this novel thus the 4 stars and I am looking forward to picking up [...]

    11. Ummmmm. This was ONE weird book. And not in the ghostly creepy weird that I was expecting. I do not even know how to review this book. I am just sitting here going "W T H just happened" and "you CANNOT end a book that way", but apparently you can. ;-) I listened to it on Hoopla Audio and had to get the Kindle book as well as some of the narration [while EXCELLENT; I highly recommend this narrator for anything. I mean, I would listen to her read the phone book she is that good. Susie Berneis is h [...]

    12. Where I got the book: e-ARC from Edelweiss.Darting around the timeline of the story of the Mary Celeste, the ship found floating empty on the Atlantic in 1872, this novel imagines the lives of the captain and his wife, his wife's sister who's blessed or burdened with psychic powers and becomes a famous medium, and the journalist--and later famous novelist--Arthur Conan Doyle who writes a sensationalist, inaccurate story about the Mary Celeste that propels him into the public consciousness.So the [...]

    13. "When found derelict on December 5, 1872, the Mary Celeste was in seaworthy condition and still under sail, heading toward the Strait of Gibraltar. She had been at sea for a month and had more than six months' worth of food and water on board. Her cargo was virtually untouched and the crew's personal belongings including valuables were still in place. None of those on board were ever seen or heard from again and their disappearance often is cited as the greatest maritime mystery of all time." Va [...]

    14. I had a difficult time with this novel. The first hundred pages are broken up into five parts. The first part describes the sinking of the ship the ‘Early Dawn’, in 1859 and the drowning death of two people on the ship. The descriptions were vivid, and the writing was very good. I was pulled into the story, then disappointed when it abruptly ended after twelve pages. The narration is then taken up by journal writings from Sarah, who is the niece of the couple who drowned, her journal is date [...]

    15. I have a HUGE problem with this book, in case you didn't notice from the 1 star. Don't get me wrong - it was very intriguing and compelling to read. The story changed every couple chapters, bouncing between a newspaper woman, Phoebe, this sea-faring family, the Briggs, and, oddly enough, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I'm usually not to into that style of writing but in this instance it worked well and kept the story going my problem is the sickening inconclusive ending! I mean, I know that no one REAL [...]

    16. Not a ghost story in the usual sense, although there are supernatural happenings in the book. The story is much more subtle, and reminds me of some books by Joyce Carol Oates ( i.e. Bellefleur, The Accursed, Mysteries of Winterthurn). It's mainly a story about the family of the captain and his wife, who were on board the Mary Celeste. The book's structure shows the family before and then years after the event, and how the disappearance at sea has affected them and those around them. Arthur Conan [...]

    17. Enticing titlewho wouldn't want to know what happened or at least be wowed with a wild speculation. Here, there isn't much speculation, we don't get an original explanation. Martin opts to go with the traditionally accepted alcohol fumes explanation. This novel like its title is more of a ghost, suggestive, but insubstantial. Tenuously connected stories around Mary Celeste lacking solidity or resolutions, including a not particularly likable creator of the Sherlock Holmes. The writing is a thing [...]

    18. Very difficult to comprise this review, except to say that it was time wasted. Not that the writing is bad, as much as it is disjointed. The transitions are so awful that it's impossible to follow a singular story, or even a specific prime character. For me, it was. The best part was the first 40 or 50 pages with the sea copy tale of the original "oldest" voyage encompassed within the novel. The voyage of the storm going around the Cape.No more from this author for me. It also rather confused me [...]

    19. Strange and atmospheric tale of spiritualism,spookiness and the sometimes false stories we tell about ourselves and our world. At times, here, the ship becomes a symbol for all the unfathomable vexing and compelling mysteries of the world we struggle to, but ultimately cannot, understand. Interestingand engrossing.

    20. I do not know what to make of this book. Sometimes riveting and sometimes so dull I didn't want to finish it.

    21. I found it enthralling. There are a few story lines and peripheral characters they make a bigger appearance at the end. There are real life and fictional characters. The prose IMO is really wonderful, the grief and sorrow of all involved is very real as is the joy when some solace is found by said characters. Don't give it up for its sweep of compelling you into all their lives for it all pays off, or it did for me. The mystery of the boat becomes less important because it's the characters that [...]

    22. The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin is a 2014 Random House/ Nan A. Talese publication. The release date is scheduled for January 2014. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.The Mary Celeste is the stuff of legends. While the ship and the mystery surrounding it is real enough, this is a work of fiction.The ship was discovered abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean. All who were aboard the ship had disappeared and were never heard fro [...]

    23. Oh for the love of all things holy I struggled with this book! I almost gave up at least twice. I had to talk myself into giving it another go every time I sat down to read. At nearly the half way mark it had managed to go off in at least three different directions and seemed to have little to do with the Mary Celeste. The completely unrelated blurb on the back of the book and title hooked me into reading this stinker. What I was lead to believe I was going to read and what was written were very [...]

    24. The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is a novel based on the true life events of the ship Mary Celeste. The Mary Celeste was found abandoned in the open seas in the late 1800s, the crew and captain (as well as the captain's wife and daughter) never to be seen again. Ever since, the mystery of the Mary Celeste has provided fodder for books and movies alike.This book is very atmospheric, with the sea playing a big part in the story. Not only is it the story of the Mary Celeste, but also of the Captain's [...]

    25. This novel was beautifully written, in exquisite prose---the level of historically accurate detail about every gesture and scene was astounding. Also, the novel had a wonderful sense of construction. We are constantly moving from the consciousness and concerns of one to character another while we navigate fictional and historical scenes. In the end the book just exploded with a finer, higher "reality" than any of the scenes had actually rendered up until the end. So many questions, and one or tw [...]

    26. Very good. I was expecting more historical fiction about the ship, but when I looked it up, there isn't much to tell. So Martin wove a great story with fine characters with what little information we do know about The Mary Celeste and took off from there. This is a book that I will want to read again to grasp the little details and be captivated all over again.

    27. BORING. Gave this book longer than I otherwise would have because I was listening to the audio during a trip . . . but even then I gave up half way through because I just didn't care what happened. Bored.

    28. I think Valerie Martin is a very good writer and it's clear to me that I am far more drawn to her historical fiction than her contemporary fiction.

    29. I understand why this has had lower reviewer ratings. Though the research is excellent and the writing is not subpar, this is not an engaging book: the characters are a bit flat, the storyline drags and then. Then there is the premise.The title and cover both promise a ghost ship, a ghost story. While there are some of those elements, this is not a book about a ship, exactly. It's a story about secondary and even tertiary characters. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Spiritualist Movement. That's n [...]

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