Ammie, Come Home

Ammie, Come Home

by Barbara Michaels

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It begins as a lark -- a harmless diversion initiated by Washington, D.C., hostess Ruth Bennett as a means of entertaining her visiting niece, Sara. But the séance conducted in Ruth's elegant Georgetown home calls something back; something unwelcome ... and palpably evil. Suddenly Sara is speaking in a voice not her own, transformed into a miserable, whimpering creature so unlike her normal, sensible self. No tricks or talismans will dispel the malevolence that now plagues the inhabitants of this haunted place -- until a dark history of treachery, lust, and violence is exposed. But the cost might well be the sanity and the lives of the living.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061840951
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Georgetown trilogy , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 120,712
File size: 550 KB

About the Author

Elizabeth Peters (writing as Barbara Michaels) was born and brought up in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. Peters was named Grandmaster at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986, Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America at the Edgar® Awards in 1998, and given The Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic in 2003. She lives in an historic farmhouse in western Maryland.

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Ammie, Come Home

Chapter One

By five o'clock it was almost dark, which was not surprising, since the month was November; but Ruth kept glancing uneasily toward the windows at the far end of the room. It was a warm, handsome room, furnished in the style of a past century, with furniture whose present value would have astonished the original owners. Only the big overstuffed sofas, which faced one another before the fireplace, were relatively modern. Their ivory brocade upholstery fitted the blue-and-white color scheme, which had been based upon the delicate Wedgwood plaques set in the mantel. A cheerful fire burned on the hearth, sending sparks dancing from the crystal glasses on the coffee table and turning the sherry in the cut-glass decanter the color of melted copper. Since her niece had come to stay with her, Ruth had set out glasses and wine every evening. It was a pleasant ritual, which they both enjoyed even when it was followed by nothing more elegant than hamburgers. But tonight Sara was late.

The darkening windows blossomed yellow as the streetlights went on; and Ruth rose to draw the curtains. She lingered at the window, one hand absently stroking the pale blue satin. Sara's class had been over at three thirty ... And, Ruth reminded herself sternly, Sara was twenty years old. When she agreed to board her niece while the girl attended the Foreign Service Institute at a local university, she had not guaranteed full-time baby-sitting. Sara, of course, considered herself an adult. However, to Ruth her niece still had the touching, terrifying illusion of personal invulnerability which is an unmistakable attribute of youth. And the streetsof Washington —even of this ultrafashionable section— were not completely safe after dark.

Even at the dying time of year, with a bleak dusk lowering, the view from Ruth's window retained some of the famous charm of Georgetown, a charm based on formal architecture and the awareness of age. Nowadays that antique grace was rather self-conscious; after decades of neglect, the eighteenth-century houses of the old town had become fashionable again, and now they had the sleek, smug look born of painstaking restoration and a lot of money.

The houses across the street had been built in the early 1800's. The dignified Georgian facades, ornamented by well-proportioned dormers and handsome fanlights, abutted directly on the street, with little or no yard area in front. Behind them were the gardens for which the town was famous, hidden from passersby and walled off from the sight of near neighbors. Now only the tops of leafless trees could be seen.

The atmosphere was somewhat marred by the line of cars, parked bumper to bumper and, for the most part, illegally. Parking was one of Georgetown's most acrimoniously debated problems, not unusual in a city which had grown like Topsy before the advent of the automobile. The vehicles that moved along the street had turned on their headlights, and Ruth peered nervously toward the corner, and the bus stop. Still no sign of Sara. Ruth muttered something mildly profane under her breath and then shook her head with a self-conscious smile. The mother-hen instinct was all the stronger for having been delayed ...

Ammie, Come Home. Copyright © by Barbara Michaels. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Simply the best living writer of ghost stories and thrillers in this century.

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Ammie, Come Home 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW! This book was SCARY! Ghosts and Ammie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an intriguing ghost-story that not only kept me reading the entire night, but made me sleep with the lights on for the next three. The plot is wonderful, tne characters likable, and the weaving of the story excellent. Though I have read many by this author and, her other pseudonym, Elizabeth Peters, this will always remain the top on my list!
SandraBalzo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My all-time favorite book--the one that made me to become a writer. AMMIE, COME HOME has been called the best American supernatural mystery of the 20th century and I heartily agree.The story involves Ruth Bennett, owner of an elegant Georgetown home, and her niece Sara, who is staying with Ruth while attending college. One night Sara starts exhibiting behavior that can be explained as either possession or, well¿insanity. The book, as reviewers have said, is ¿dripping with atmosphere,¿ and downright ¿chilling.¿ But under the chills and the atmosphere, AMMIE is a story of the unlikely alliance--Ruth, Sara¿s scruffy boyfriend Bruce, and college professor Pat MacDougal¿that tries to save the girl.I pull this book out and re-read it every couple of years. It's my comfort read.
victorianrose869 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
March 8, 1999Ammie, Come HomeBarbara MichaelsThe scariest Barbara Michaels of all! Young (college-age) Sara comes to stay with her Aunt Ruth (a thinly veiled Barbara Michaels, really) in Washington, D.C. It¿s Ruth who tells the story.A voice in the backyard calling ¿Ammie, come home!¿ night after night¿. A séance¿and finally, possession of Sara by a troubled spirit. The creepiest moment is when Ruth looks at Sara and sees someone else looking back at her from Sara¿s eyes. Chills! I read somewhere that the author herself made herself a little nervous with this one!
carmenzelda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Originally published in 1968, this still holds up. A seance in a Georgetown House brings out a vengeful ghost. One of Michaels' (aka Barbara Mertz, Elizabeth Peters) earliest novelw. There are two later books with some of the same characters showing up in new situations: Shattered Silk, and Stitches in Time.
reannon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books since I first read it in the early 70s (published in 1968). I like the atmosphere of Georgetown old and new, and the ghost story. Barbara Micheals is one pseudonym of Barbara Mertz, who has a Ph.D in Egyptology. She uses Michaels for her gothics, and writes mysteries as Elizabeth Peters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It astonishes me now that I liked this book so much when I was younger. The characters are quite awful, except for Pat. Ruth is ridiculous; what aunt proooses to sell a much loved home for a random niece who will be out of her life in a matter of years? Her utter insipidness is so exaggersted, it's actually offensive. And we are supposed to believe Pat fell instantly in love with this prissy little person? Yeah, no. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the obnoxious caricature that is Bruce - the know it all, protesting purposelessly against anything and everything, don't trust anyone over 30, 70s era student. Ugh, losthsome. It was loathsome tgen, and it's loathsome now. The writing is excellent, as always, and the plot, though essentually silly, hangs together well. But the characters are shallow and unlikeable, which ruins the book for me.
lorrib More than 1 year ago
As a survivor of the 60's I greatly enjoyed this "blast from the past" and wonder why another reviewer would think teens in particular would be more interested in that era than those of us who were there. also two good love stories in one.My favorite by this author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely love this book it is easy to read, enjoyable, characters and theme well written.  Have read it more times than I can count and still enjoy it. 
LoveToReadCC More than 1 year ago
I first read this book years ago (as did my sister), and enjoyed reading it just as much this time. I had the same comment from my spouse this time as my sister had from her spouse years ago. "Are you ever going to put that book down?" Good story, good characters, suspense and romance--always a good combination for me.
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luv2readDB More than 1 year ago
First book of hers i read at 14. Started a life long love of her stories. Still get chills at the name.
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Rebecca Birmingham More than 1 year ago
I read this years ago and all haunting books are compared to it Very satisfying plot with great ending. A CLASSIC
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ReadingRedHead More than 1 year ago
I read this book years ago on the recommendation of friend who read it for a Gothic Lit class. I loved it. Now that I'm working on my dissertation in Gothic Lit, I reread it and loved it just as much. It's an easy, fast read, but has the feel of the great classic Gothic tales by Irving and perhaps Poe. Great book to snuggle under the covers with on a fall evening with a cup of hot chocolate. I will be reading more of the work she wrote under this name.
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