Blog Tour Book Review: A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell

A Reunions of GhostsAbout A Reunion of Ghosts

• Print Length: 400 pages
• Publisher: Harper (March 24, 2015)

Three wickedly funny sisters.

One family’s extraordinary legacy.

A single suicide note that spans a century …

Meet the Alter sisters: Lady, Vee, and Delph. These three mordantly witty, complex women share their family’s apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. They love each other fiercely, but being an Alter isn’t easy. Bad luck is in their genes, passed down through the generations. Yet no matter what curves life throws at these siblings—and it’s hurled plenty—they always have a wisecrack, and one another.

In the waning days of 1999, the trio decides it’s time to close the circle of the Alter curse. But first, as the world counts down to the dawn of a new millennium, Lady, Vee, and Delph must write the final chapter of a saga lifetimes in the making—one that is inexorably intertwined with that of the twentieth century itself. Unspooling threads of history, personal memory, and family lore, they weave a mesmerizing account of their lives that stretches back decades to their great-grandfather, a brilliant scientist whose professional triumph became the sinister legacy that defines them.

Funny, heartbreaking, and utterly original, A Reunion of Ghosts is a magnificent novel about three unforgettable women bound to each other, and to their remarkable family, through the blessings and the burdens bestowed by blood.


“What if the man who invented chemical weapons was also a grandfather, and what if his great-grandchildren grew up to be three hilarious, introverted, deeply-haunted sisters? And what if those sisters co-wrote a fascinating, funny, and deeply sad 350-page suicide note? Then you’d have A Reunion of Ghosts. This is a triumphant, beautiful, and devastating novel about coincidences, family, and the sins of our fathers.”
— Anthony Doerr, New York Times bestselling author of All The Light We Cannot See

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Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for A Reunion of Ghosts written by Judith Claire Mitchell. I’d like to give a big thank you to the author and TLC Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to read this book for review!

A Reunion of Ghosts is about three sisters who are planning to commit suicide and this book is their suicide letter. Interestingly enough, they come from a pretty lengthy line of ancestors that have also left this world by their own choosing. The story discusses their familial history, their individual problems, and their feelings towards family and most importantly towards one another.

This was definitely a unique book, the concept of it (the book as a suicide letter) was really intriguing. I did really like it although it did lose me a couple of times but I’m a completionist and just have to finish every book so I soldiered on and ended up really liking it and glad that I did hold on. The way the narration was written felt a little awkward to me at first but it didn’t take away from the story at all.

My absolute favorite thing about this book are the three sisters. They were all very quirky and witty. I felt sorry and sad for each one of them when reading about their problems and reasons for wanting to commit suicide, and just really felt like their whole lives they’ve had just this sort of cloud hanging over them, especially when we take into the account the “curse”. But this book also had really heartwarming and tender moments as well. Not only that though, it was also darkly funny. The sisters themselves are a complete riot and I loved them so much.

I thought this book was very well written and interestingly, my experience of reading it gravitated from reading a historical fiction piece to reading a tragic comedy. I love it when books transcend genres and this one does just that. I never really thought that I would read a book that dealt with death that was also funny and witty but reading this book has accomplished just that.

This was a reall good book. It’s definitely not light reading but I love that about this book…it makes you chuckle, makes you reflect, feel slightly depressed and is also heartwarming at the same time. I gave this book 4 stars, great read!! (Also, the cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous! I am also in love with the deckle pages!)

Judith Claire MitchellAbout Judith Claire Mitchell

Judith Claire Mitchell, author of the novel The Last Day of the War, is an English professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she directs the MFA program in creative writing. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Judy has received fellowships from the James A. Michener/Copernicus Society, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and elsewhere. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband, the artist Don Friedlich.

Find out more about Judith at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.

One thought on “Blog Tour Book Review: A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell

  1. Books that transcend genres are my favorite to recommend – they always have such wide appeal. And this one, with it’s combination of light and darkness, is VERY appealing to me. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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