When I began Ship of Haunts, I found it hard to get into, because the characters that populate the novel are sometimes alive, sometimes dead, sometimes living their second or even third lives, and sometimes reminiscing about previous lives that they can somehow remember. I must admit I found it all a bit confusing.
However, I'm glad I stuck with it, because once I got to know the characters, and could better follow the interwoven stories, I began to really enjoy the book. I loved the chapters with Carrin's ghost, as she floated around lonely and lost on the seabed, and felt quite sorry for her. For a long time I too wondered where all the other ghosts were (a believable answer is revealed towards the end of the book).
An enthralling aspect of this book is its visiting chapters to Titanic, both when it floats grandly upon the ocean, and when it rests at its depths. Ellie Stevenson has obviously done her research and demonstrates a wealth of knowledge about Titanic. Like many people, I'm fascinated by the tragedy and romance of the lost liner, and 'Ship of Haunts' does not disappoint - describing the majesty and detail of the floating Titantic so brilliantly as to make me somehow feel I've actually set foot upon it. Also, through the eyes of Carrin's ghost on the ocean floor, the rich description makes you vividly imagine the sediment shrouding it to this day.
Finally, the novel also visits child immigration in Australia - where the reader feels deeply for the children living in dire conditions at 'The Halt.' There's so much going on in this novel that it's impossible to mention it all, but all the elements and stories weave together and make for a good ending. If you enjoy a detailed and intricate novel, then 'Ship of Haunts' is well worth a read.