Happy day for me! The Ghost Orchid is fantastic and has made me a Carol Goodman fan. It takes place at Bosco, an estate that has been turned into an artist's retreat in upstate New York. Ellis is the main character. She's come to finish a novel about Corinth Blackwell, a medium who visited Bosco in 1893 and disappeared, along with the only surviving child of the owners, Milo and Aurora Latham.
This story moves between Ellis' experiences at Bosco in contemporary times, and Corinth arriving at Bosco, where she has been hired by Milo Latham to conduct a seance for his wife, hoping to contact their three children, who died from diptheria the year before. Corinth's secret is that she really does have a gift, but it so frightened her as a child, she uses tricks to make believers out of her customers without actually contacting spirits.
The other main character in this story is the garden. It's no ordinary garden. Aurora has decided to recreate the gardens of Italy at her estate, and has hired Italian gardeners to put in fountains, paths, and statues everywhere. It's an enormous garden--one that has hidden paths, a secret grotto, and a statue of an indian maiden tied to a local legend.
This book was awesome! An intelligent ghost story. Ellis sees and hears all sorts of mysterious things, and begins to unwind the story of Corinth and Bosco. Something there needs to tell it's story, and Ellis, who also has the gift of sight, becomes the unwilling storyteller.
So many secrets, so many relationships twisting around this story! The atmosphere is wonderful, the writing fantastic, and the suspense keeps you glued to the pages. What happens to Corinth? Who is haunting the gardens, and why? What does the local legend of Ne'Moss-i-Ne have to do with Corinth and Ellis?
Hurry to your local library or bookstore and pick this one up. I have made a permanent spot on my bookshelves for Carol Goodman's novels. I can't wait to dive into the rest of her novels.