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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars

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on 24 September 2016
I picked up “The Ghost of Greenwich Village” on sale a few weeks ago and yesterday it came up in “Kindle roulette”. I was in the mood for a light read and it exactly fit the bill.

I’m not exactly sure what to call this. Obviously with a ghost it has a fantasy element, but it’s really not a fantasy. And it seems dismissive to call it “chick lit”. (What exactly is that any way? Is any book with a female protagonist “chick lit”?) Although the ghost, Don, is an interesting, invisible character in the story, this is really about Eve as she tries to make her way in New York City of the 1990s. Along the way there is a lot of interesting information about everything from the ubiquitous morning shows to the artists of the Beat generation. Since I love NYC and have always been fascinated by the “Beats”, this was perfect for me. And even though I don’t think I’ve ever watched more than 10 minutes of one of those morning shows I found the behind the scenes look very enlightening.

On the down side, Eve is a little too proficient and lucky to be believable as well as reading more like a twenty-something than a woman in her thirties. But these are minor things and since I was expecting a light read, really didn’t diminish my enjoyment.

All in all, “The Ghost of Greenwich Village” turned out to be a much more interesting read than I expected.
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on 19 July 2011
`The Ghost of Greenwich Village' is in many ways a simple book of a young lady, Eve Weldon, moving to New York and settling in Greenwich Village. She wonders if it can ever match the magic that it held for her mother. In a way it is the story of her search for her mother's past and what the Village was during the 60's, especially in the literary scene.
She just happens to get an apartment inhabited by a former writer's ghost. In many ways the book becomes too improbable, she also just happens to make friends with someone who knew the ghost when he was alive. There is just too much happenstance and she just lets life `happen' to her- a friend seems to procure all of her jobs and she really lets the ghost control her life in many ways. But in the end she learns to be bold, to have some `spunk'.

Because of Eve's seemingly drifting existence it is hard to care for her at times, but strangely enough this book also becomes a bit addictive to read... we wonder how it will all work out...Can she find a good job, keep her apartment, will the ghost have his story written, can Eve find herself and the answers she seeks about her mother's life in New York? We learn how it all turns out and how a young lady finds herself.
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on 16 April 2012
What's not to like about this coming of age in the big City novel? It's got a contemporary setting in TV news, with an insider's perspective, features Greenwich Vilage and a colourful cast of characters. I especially enjoyed some of the insights into the Beat era in New York City and their hang outs, the little subplot featuring vintage clothing, and the fashion designer. If I had a quibble it would be that the Ohio back story didn't seem alive, and perhaps that's because the protagonist didn't feel alive there herself.
I enjoyed this book, and recommend it.
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on 5 January 2012
The Ghost of Greenwich village is a well written and entertaining book, and I enjoyed both the Village atmosphere and the insight into the frenetic world of the TV writer. The character was one I cared about, and I would definitely endorse this book.
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"The Ghost of Greenwich Village," is the debut novel of Lorna Graham. It's more or less a coming of age story and a moving to Manhattan to make it story, set largely in the world of television morning news shows. Graham has certainly learned about this world on the job: she's credited with having written for top American network anchors, including Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric and Ann Curry at "Dateline NBC," and Charlie Gibson at ABC's "Good Morning America." She's also credited with print journalism, for The New York Times, among other publications, and with the authorship of a short film, A TIMELESS CALL that was directed by Steven Spielberg.

In her first novel, a young woman moves to Manhattan looking for romance and excitement, and to try to find the tracks of her late mother's experience there decades ago. But she finds that her unusually cheap Greenwich Village apartment - with a fireplace, no less, is haunted by the ghost of a bad tempered Beat Generation writer who demands a labor-intensive favor of her.

Eve Weldon has a lot invested in moving to Greenwich Village. She's shaking the dust of Ohio off her shoes, leaving her widower lawyer Dad, known as Gin, in the green hills of Rolling Links, a condo golfing community just outside Greenwich, Ohio, in the vicinity of Columbus. And she's finally following in the bohemian footsteps of her mother Penelope, who lived in the Village during the early sixties among a thriving community of Beat artists and writers. But when Eve arrives, the first author she meets is the grumpy ghost named Donald, and the only writing she manages to do is light-weight segments of a morning news program, Smell the Coffee. Furthermore, the hypercompetitive network environment bears no relation to the genial camaraderie Eve imagines her mother's literary scene to have been. Eve begins to wonder if the world she is looking for no longer exists.

Well, we're talking chick lit here, of course, and I'd have to say very little actually happens in this book, plot's kind of thin. So is the New York atmosphere. So is the TV news atmosphere - and in my checkered career, I actually worked in TV news for a while. At any rate, all are rather thin. So are Graham's characters, very few of them are fleshed out enough to cast shadows, and especially not Donald, the supposed ghost of the angry Beat writer: at one point, the author actually has him say "What the heck," which constituted a dizzying minute for me: angry beat poets didn't speak like that in my experience. Furthermore, Graham's dialog is rather stilted. However, some of the places Eve's mother supposedly hung out do actually exist to this day, and Graham gives us some interesting background on them.

But I'd have to say Eve's mother Penelope and the crowd she hung with would most likely be less than a decade my senior, and the world Graham attributes to her mother in the Greenwich Village of the early 1960s is actually not much like the place I found when I wandered in during the early 1960s. And this book will not work to a reader who doesn't actually believe in ghosts. I believe Lorna Graham is an intelligent, talented, hard-working woman who writes nicely, but, based on the evidence of this book, I'm sorry to say I don't think her future lies in fiction.
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