There’s more than one kind of ghost story.

8 Mar

Memories prove just as haunting as ghosts in The Keep, an imaginative but creepy novel by Jennifer Egan.

In castles, the keep was the inner stronghold – the last place of refuge when defending a castle. It proves an apt metaphor as the novel’s characters try to keep the past and their mistakes from destroying them.

When Danny and Howard, two estranged cousins, meet in a crumbling old German castle, the past can no longer be kept out. It returns, bringing with it a reminder of the terrible wrong done by Danny to Howard when they were teens. All this is connected to a prisoner with a violent past and his writing teacher, who develop an oddly touching relationship. Each story is compelling and how they are related gradually becomes clear.

The almost gothic atmosphere with the castle looming in the background is wonderful, and I loved the way the author ties both stories together. Kathy B


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