Review: Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

My boyfriend was laid off last week. As a result I’m taking a look at my tbr pile, my kindle backlog, and library holds. I’ll talk to you more about the inner crisis this is producing in my bookish heart later this week, but am really excited to share with you my review of Ghost Wall.

Ghost Wall is a story about reenactment, about control, about fear. Silvie and her family are spending their summer vacation with a group of graduate students pretending to live as Iron Age Britons. Silvie’s dad, a truck driver, is fascinated with this era of history, and his brutish personality leaves an impression on everyone he meets. Over the course of several days Silvie learns that there is more to life than her small, often toxic family. Also, she has awesome foraging skills. Go Silvie. 

Moss’s novella is just that, short and sweet. Or short and stressful, if you will. Despite being under 150 pages I took several days to digest what was happening. Moss’s writing is unique. Her descriptions pop of the page and it feels like you are living this strange, slightly horrifying vacation with Silvie. By the end I was flipping pages quickly, taking in the story while also hoping that nothing would come to Silvie, and that maybe she would find some happiness.  

Plot wise there is clearly a treasure trove of research that made Ghost Wall possible. I found myself googling different aspects of Iron Age life as I read, and was generally fascinated with the type of archaeology and immersion depicted on the page. 

Ghost Wall is everything I hoped it would be. It is a perfect short read. It haunts you even after the pages are firmly pressed together and you’ve moved on to your next book. I keep thinking back to Silvie, her family, and her new found acquaintances. Give Ghost Wall a chance. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

3 thoughts on “Review: Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

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