Regina McBride’s ‘Ghost Songs’ is as Lyrical as it is Complicated

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cover89194-mediumRegina McBride can see the ghosts of her parents, even though their memories tear her apart. Both parents died tragically, a short time apart and their memories are as tangible as the feelings she gets when they are near. Her memoir, Ghost Songs, discusses her childhood in New York and New Mexico, the loss of her family, and the trip to Ireland to find herself and connect with her family’s past.

Ghost Songs is a challenging and lyrical book. While the passages are poetic, they are also randomly scattered. One paragraph you read about her father’s suicide, and then her practicing for a play. A few passages later she’s discussing her catechism, and then her grandmother’s death.  The book divides these sections, but be prepared to keep bouncing around her tumultuous life. The beauty of her descriptions and the details make the book a joy to read, but don’t expect the ghosts to remain main characters; this is at heart Regina McBride’s story.

Ghost Songs is now available from Tin House Books.

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