Ghosts Of The Falls

I have been reading Empire Falls by Richard Russo, the only Pulitzer Prize Winner that I’ve read apart from To Kill A Mockingbird.

Perhaps because we are almost on the threshold of Halloween, a certain passage caught my eye that referred to ghosts, but not to ghosts of the living, more the wraith-like relationship between a mother and daughter, as observed by a peripheral, recurring character named Grace:

Grace was glad not to have to share her thoughts about one of the sadder human relationships she’d ever encountered. It was as if mother and daughter had somehow managed to disappoint each other so thoroughly that neither one was at all vested in the other anymore. They were like ghosts, each inhabiting different dimensions of the same physical space, so different that Grace half expected to see one pass through the other when their paths crossed.

What a home this passage suggests. What a mausoleum.


5 thoughts on “Ghosts Of The Falls

  1. I loved Empire Falls, although it disturbed me too … But I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I see it as a distinctly American book, about deeply American issues… But Russo writes some truly familiar and unforgettable relationships, and I think that makes it more universal.

    I absolutely love your quote. Are you finished yet?


    • Yes, I finished it a couple of days after this post. I am never without a book, at the moment I’m reading a collection of stories by Sheridan Le Fanu. Recently a couple of people have been turning me on to A Prayer For Owen Meany. Have you read it?

      Liked by 1 person

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