“With her first novel, so elegantly crafted, Johanna Stoberock takes her readers on a globe-spanning journey through grief, love, friendship, jealousy, and betrayal to genuine self-discovery. When she lyrically evokes the experience of living in Nepal, its spirit of place, timeless beauty, and people are almost tangible on the page. All by itself, her finale is worth the price of admission. City of Ghosts is a stunning and memorable debut.” Charles Johnson, author of Middle Passage, winner of the National Book Award
A haunting debut novel that tells of dependence and betrayal among best friends and the man they both love. A sweeping romantic adventure begins when Isabel Grady marries her best friend Anna's lover and follows him halfway around the world to the inhospitable mountains of Nepal. Now, living in a ruined palace, with a husband who disappears for weeks at a time, Isabel struggles to make a new life for herself. But when Isabel learns that a visit from Anna is only months away, suddenly it seems that at every turn her ancient surroundings-and her own past-threaten to crush her hopes for the future. Isabel's new environment mirrors the tensions and passions of her marriage. The dense heat of monsoon, the ruins of a corrupt regime, and the lonely existence of expatriates are vividly rendered in a lyrical, rolling prose that is never hurried but always compelling. City of Ghosts is a poignant and probing study of love and loss and marks the arrival of a fresh and exciting literary voice.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ms Stoberock's novel draws you in until you cannot put it down. She weaves a story as engaging and mysterious as the winding hallways of the palace that Isabel lives in. Her depiction of Nepal and the Himalayas is as starkly beautiful as the land itself. It is a novel of self discovery where the end of each journey marks a beginning. Ms Stoberock has given us an accurate window to the often lonely and frightening world of the ex-pat. For anyone who has lived abroad...or travelled in hopes of 'finding themselves': this novel is definitely worth reading.