A Reunion of Ghosts A compulsively readable literary masterpiece the shared confessional of three sisters preparing to kill themselves honouring the dark legacy that has haunted their family In the waning days of

  • Title: A Reunion of Ghosts
  • Author: Judith Claire Mitchell
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 495
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • A compulsively readable literary masterpiece the shared confessional of three sisters preparing to kill themselves, honouring the dark legacy that has haunted their family In the waning days of 1999, the Alter sisters gather in their ancestral Upper West Side apartment An epic family story inspired partly by the life of Fritz Haber, Nobel Prize winner and inventor ofA compulsively readable literary masterpiece the shared confessional of three sisters preparing to kill themselves, honouring the dark legacy that has haunted their family In the waning days of 1999, the Alter sisters gather in their ancestral Upper West Side apartment An epic family story inspired partly by the life of Fritz Haber, Nobel Prize winner and inventor of chlorine gas unfolds This is a memoir of sisters unified by a singular burden, and an unflinching eulogy to those who have gone before.

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      Published :2019-02-09T22:53:15+00:00

    One thought on “A Reunion of Ghosts”

    1. The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the 3rd and 4th generationsThree sisters plan to see out the millennium together, really see it out. The agree to a mutual suicide pact (life has not been particularly kind), to be carried out as midnight approaches on December 31, 1999. (We doan need no steenking millennium). As a part of this deal they agree to write a family history in which the end is reallyyou knowe end. A Reunion of Ghosts is that, rather lengthy, suicide note. Sound [...]

    2. I won an ARC copy from GR giveaways!!This was a great family saga with twists and unexpected turns. Three sisters that believe they are cursed have come up with a great plan go out by suicide, together. Writing a joined suicide note with the details of the "cursed family" and how they have come to be.I enjoyed this so much. Witty, snarky and very well written. Thanks for the advance ARC!!

    3. “Someday this will be funny.”So says Lady, the eldest of the Alter sisters, from her hospital gurney, following her first failed attempt at killing herself. This is an year after their mother jumps into the Hudson, becoming the sixth in three generations to succumb to despair (or what the sisters call the "curse").But is it really funny - you might wonder when you read that blurb - this history of tragedy and violence, this overwhelming burden of guilt passed down through the years? There is [...]

    4. A Reunion of Ghosts (according to one character, that's the collective noun for ghosts) is the 'shared suicide note' of three middle-aged sisters, Lady, Vee, and Delph. They're the end of the family line (with apologies to Morrissey); the last remaining descendants of Lenz Alter, a Jewish scientist known as 'the father of chemical warfare' for his role in the invention of chlorine gas and Zyklon B. Believing the family to be cursed, doomed to suicide whatever they do, the Alter sisters embark on [...]

    5. This bit of schlump received an excellent review in a popular women's magazine that a friend gave me. That will teach me. The writing was disconnected, the characters trite and never inspired me to care about them. I cannot recommend this even as a beach read.

    6. Lady, Vee and Delph Alter are three sisters, living together in their childhood apartment; one divorced, one widowed, one a spinster. The sisters have embarked on a family history project and have decided they will be the last of the Alter line. With one of the sisters having a terminal illness, the three decide to commit suicide on New Year’s Eve. Although we know this at the very beginning of the book, this is not at all a depressing read. Instead, it is the darkly humorous tale, not only of [...]

    7. A Reunion of Ghosts is dark yet hilarious look at family. Written as a long collective suicide note by three sisters. It is a darkly humorous story of how we can never quite escape where and who we come from. I enjoyed the book after awhile. So many characters and the shifting between times, places, and people felt disjointed. There is no disputing that the writing is fantastic Judith Claire Mitchell's second novel. It is just one of those books that has a flavor you have to be in the mood for. [...]

    8. This book? Sigh, this book is the book of a decade for me. Dark, funny, thought creating, and touching. A Jewish, New York (UWS!!! My childhood neighborhood) version of Behind the Scenes at the Museum. I'll write more later -- I need to play review catch-up in a big way these days, but today is not the day. So despite this pitiful bit of excited flailing -- go read this. Now. Really, just go buy a copy, sit down with it and start reading. I'll be back to talk more about its use of humor, its pro [...]

    9. The Alter sisters--Lady, Vee, and Delph--live together in a pre-war, rent-controlled apartment near the Hudson River in New York City. They are in their 40s and are very close; each is struggling with life in a different way. The Alter sisters are Jewish in name only. Their family history is complicated, as we see when the story delves into the past. Tragedy has dogged the family, and the sisters come to see this as a curse. The story is compelling and unusual, the writing is wonderful. It's dar [...]

    10. I'm not a fan of dark comedy, however, this book possesses merits worthy of praise.Mitchell expertly blends historical fiction with dark comedy. The two combinations seem odd but I assure you Mitchell crafts quite a narrative with memorable characters.The historical reference and notable figure centers around Fritz Haber, the inventor of chlorine gas, as well as his first wife, Clara Haber. Using the Haber's gives merit and a level of high interest to the entire story along with the three sister [...]

    11. Mitchell’s novel is an exploration of unintended consequences and the burdens of well-mapped bloodlines, brought together in a perfect confluence of humor and despair. Its narrators are the Alter sisters, three intelligent, tragedy-plagued women bound together by antiquing family regrets and a suicide pact. The book becomes their farewell. They detail generations of family triumphs and mishaps, recalling loves gone awry and lamenting the regrettable best-of-intentions invention that brought Ge [...]

    12. I really really really was rooting for this book. I go to the UW Madison and was excited that the author is a professor here. I thought the premise was super intriguing and I really love multi-generational stories with common themes and threads connecting them. I thought the three sisters were interesting at first, or maybe I just found the idea of them interesting. But after a while I found myself not really liking them or caring about them, they kind of blended together, and I'm sure the use o [...]

    13. There was a lot about this novel that was simply odd. The use of first person plural is definitely not something you see often, but (to my surprise, honestly) it works really well here. The individual voices of 3 middle-aged sisters are instead replaced with the more general and muted voice of "we". Together they write about their family history, their tragic, personal lives in this memoir turned shared "suicide note".Despite the dark themes and constant gloom, the sisters also manage to be real [...]

    14. (3.5) “Life between the cracks isn’t so bad when you’ve got sisters.” Vee, Lady and Delph are the fourth generation of Alters, a Jewish family cursed with a rash of suicides. Indeed, the majority of the novel is the middle-aged sisters’ collective suicide note, narrated in the first-person plural. Their own bittersweet narratives are here – Vee’s recurrent breast cancer and her husband’s tragic death, Lady’s ill-fated affair with a dentist and previous suicide attempts, and Del [...]

    15. Three sisters, Lady, Vee, and Delph, have decided to commit suicide together on December 31, 1999, and this book serves as their collective suicide note. The book examines the curse that the sisters believe their family has suffered from for generations -- "the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations."The sisters make up the fourth generation, the last remaining descendants of Lenz Alter, the Jewish scientist who unintentionally became the father of [...]

    16. This book is a single suicide note from three sisters living in the family apartment in New York. Filled with chuckle-inducing subtle humor, the sisters tell the story of their inherited curse -- six suicides in three generations, the latest being their mother who flung herself into the Hudson River. The sisters are convinced that the sins of the father are visited upon the children to the 3rd and 4th generations. Before they off themselves (or do they?), they interweave their own stories with t [...]

    17. Interesting premise, but the reality is disappointing. I couldn't get into it. Reading other reviews cemented my decision not to continue.

    18. Reunion of Ghosts is a witty dark humor story of three sisters who firmly believe they are cursed by family history: the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the 3rd and 4th generations. In this case, their Great Grandfather Lenz Alter is the beginning of the sister’s curse. In her author’s notes, Mitchell states that she was inspired by the German-Jewish scientist Fritz Haber, his wife and son for the novel characters: Great Grandfather, wife, and son of the sisters. Haber w [...]

    19. This novel was promoted/described as being ‘like the Virgin Suicides’, and, as a huge Eugenides fan, that’s why I picked up this book. But I’ll be blunt: this is nothing like The Virgin Suicides. It’s not even close to being like it. There’s no mystery to these main characters. Everything about them is said (mostly by themselves), in a way where nothing is left to the imagination and the reader feels like they’re being talked at for 400 pages.The ancestors’ history was somewhat i [...]

    20. A Reunion of Ghosts is not a ghost story as the title may lead you to believe, but it is a story about ghosts. This is a story about three sisters who enter into a suicide pact, and this is their suicide note, complete with detailing of their family history and how each of their predecessors committed suicide as well and how that has affected each family member along the way. Sins of the father and all of that. The premise itself sounded interesting and it could have been if the characters were [...]

    21. 3.5 stars for me. This is about 3 sisters that make a pact that they are going to commit suicide together in the late 90s. You get to know a little about their back history of each sister but what kept me going with this book is the story of their family. It seems suicide run in the family, each branch there was a notable suicide and they are kind of wanting to keep with the tradition so to speak. It dragged in the beginning but really got me was the history of their grandfather, this is roughly [...]

    22. I have completed my first official read of 2017! Woot! A Reunion of Ghosts caught my eye on bookoutlet during a sale. I am always open to stories about sisters, family sagas, and alternate history. This book offers all of that but unfortunately not in the way I was really craving. This is a book discussing some really heavy material, so it would have been easy to get bogged down. But it's not as depressing as it might sound. It didn't strike the right balance between thought provoking, quirky, a [...]

    23. Well that was a strange read. A book staged as a memoir and collective suicide note by three sisters who believe their family carries a curse that has plagued four generations and led to many suicides and other tragedies. That being said, this is not a depressing read. It is mostly fictional, although some of the characters are based to varying degrees on an actual family. But what I came away from this book with is the sense that family (with all it's attending stories, history and traditions) [...]

    24. The most intriguing thing about this book is the first-person plural narration. It’s an unusual form, more often found in corporate literature or academic papers. It indicates that for the scope of the document, the people involved are speaking with a single voice.That makes sense in a limited context, but in this book three sisters are apparently telling the story of their lives. Three very different women, speaking in a voice that isn’t quite any of them. So who is it?The Alter sisters, La [...]

    25. A REUNION OF GHOSTS stars a trifecta of smart, quirky, self-involved New York City sisters—Lady, Vee and Delph—haunted by their forebears, well-to-do, well-educated Germans/borderline Christians whose lives ended if not in Nazi death camps, by suicide: morphine, gunshot, auto-defenestration, cyanide, suffocation, drowning, and window-leaping. “We are Alters…” a first-person voice explains, “quitters, if you like” Which explains why the sisters have a suicide pact.The novel, Judith [...]

    26. A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell is a masterfully written multigenerational story of the Alter sisters and a legacy that began during WWI. The 20th century is rapidly coming to a close and sisters Lady, Vee, and Delph are planning to end their lives, as the custom has been for decades. Their great-grandmother, wife of Lenz Alter, who is loosely based on the real life of Nobel-prize winning chemist Fritz Haber, a German Jew who invented chlorine gas, ended her life. Her son Richard a [...]

    27. In A Reunion of Ghosts we meet the three Alter sisters who have decided to end their lives in a suicide pact carried out on New Year's Eve 1999. Through a collective memoir of their lives Lady, Vee and Delph tell us the story of their lives as seen through their eyes. What they also introduce us to is the 'curse', and it is the curse of the Alter's which means that tragedy follows them like a ghostly figure, they will never rid themselves of the curse as they are paying for a past generation's s [...]

    28. I really enjoyed this, but the epilogue was unnecessary, if anything it detracted from the story and all went a little pear shaped. A solid 4 without it.Edit 2017: In hindsight, I must admit that this book has stayed with me all this time. I'm clicking it up to 4.5 stars.

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