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Cohocton Public Library 1 FICTION Adult Fiction Book
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Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library 1 FIC BRO Adult Fiction Book
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Cuba Circulating Library Association 1 FIC BRO Adult Fiction Book
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Elmira - Steele Memorial Library 1 MYSTERY Adult Fiction Book
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Summary

Summary

The Clairvoyants is Karen Brown's most hypnotic novel to date--gothic-inflected psychological suspense that unmasks the secret desires of a young woman with a mystical gift

On the family homestead by the sea where she grew up, Martha Mary saw ghosts. As a young woman, she hopes to distance herself from those spirits by escaping to an inland college town. There, she is absorbed by a budding romance, relieved by separation from an unstable sister, and disinterested in the flyers seeking information about a young woman who's disappeared--until one Indian summer afternoon when the missing woman appears beneath Martha's apartment window, wearing a down coat, herhair coated with ice.


Author Notes

Karen Brown 's Little Sinners and Other Stories was named a Best Book of 2012 by Publisher's Weekly; her previous collection, Pins and Needles received AWP's Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction; and her first novel, The Longings of Wayward Girls , was published in 2013 by Washington Square Press to rave reviews. Her work has been featured in The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, The New York Times , and Good Housekeeping . She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of South Florida.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* The day Martha Mary first saw her aunt, her aunt had been dead for over a decade. Soon, more ghosts began to appear, at random, with silent pleading stares and unspoken needs, and Martha Mary grew to endure her talent (or curse). Despite learning from her grandfather's journals that he possessed the same ability, Martha Mary decided it was best to pretend that the ghosts didn't exist at all. When Martha Mary leaves home for college, she hopes to leave behind both the curse and her sister, Del, from whom she was inseparable until their parents placed her into a mental institution, two years before. But when she arrives at college, Martha Mary is dismayed to find missing-person signs for a young woman, Mary Rae. Months after Mary Rae's disappearance, whether she is dead or alive remains a mystery that is, to everyone except Martha Mary. She is drawn into the missing girl's inner circle of friends and soon learns that she isn't the only one with dark secrets to uncover. A master of intrigue, Brown (The Longings of Wayward Girls, 2013) has crafted a haunting mystery that will relentlessly push readers until the very end.--Spanner, Alison Copyright 2016 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In Brown's gripping second novel (after 2013's The Longings of Wayward Girls), narrator Martha can see the dead, though she doesn't feel obligated to help them. But she's intrigued when she begins to see the ghost of Mary Rae Swindal, a girl reported missing in Martha's upstate New York college town. Mary Rae's ghost leads Martha to a house where she meets William Bell, a fellow photographer. Martha and William have a whirlwind courtship that ends in their marrying on the day of Mary Rae's funeral. Martha's unstable sister, Del, with whom Martha shares a dark childhood secret, follows Martha to Ithaca after spending three years in a psychiatric institution. Through William, the sisters end up spending time with his mentor, Anne, and a mourning group of girls from Mary Rae's nearby hometown, Milton. William's behavior becomes increasingly worrisome as Martha starts to see visions of him in the place where Mary Rae died; Martha and Del begin to wonder if he might be dangerous. Martha's faith in Del is also challenged, though another traumatic event forces them to rely on each other. Brown's novel is a riveting page-turner. She deftly reveals bits of Martha's and Del's past in tandem with more details about the mystery that Martha is trying to unravel, leaving the reader wondering if Martha might be an unreliable narrator. Though the ending isn't entirely satisfying, Brown shows an admirable ability to create suspense. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Mary Martha has been able to see spirits since she was young, but she has never used her gift to help others and usually ignores her special abilities. When she escapes her monotonous life on the seaside family homestead for an inland college town, she notices a flyer seeking information about a missing young woman, whose apparition then appears to her. Becoming increasingly obsessed with this specter, Mary begins a romance with Billy, who seems to have a suspicious history with the vanished girl. The arrival of sister Del, who manages to assimilate herself into Mary's group and life, makes this story all the more convoluted. While the author's premise-two very different siblings, an absent father, a promiscuous mother, teen years blemished by a murder, and a missing woman-holds promise, Brown has failed to flesh out her characters enough for readers to really care about any of them. The abrupt denouement will leave readers wanting more. VERDICT Brown's second novel (after The Longings of Wayward Girls) is a creepy gothic tale that in the end disappoints. Still, fans of her first book and award-winning short story collections (Little Sinners and Other Stories; Pins and Needles) may be curious. [See Prepub Alert, 8/26/16.]-Marianne Fitzgerald, Severna Park H.S., MD © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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