American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest by Hannah Nordhaus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have a love hate relationship with the title of this book. I do feel almost cheated by it. I was expecting more of a ghost story. I got a haunting story of a woman searching out the truth of her great, great grandmother who it has been said, is a ghost haunting a hotel in New Mexico. I say that yet I give it high stars? Yes. I loved the story, though I did feel that it gets a little twisty at times. There is more in this book that just the story of Julia Staab. I understand it, though, because when you search out the life story of an ancestor you get stories from all the people in between you and the ancestor in question. This book is an interesting account of a young German Jewish bride coming to live in the American Southwest. At times it is a very sad tale which is why I call it haunting. I think of the bravery of this woman, yes she had no choice as a woman, but brave is what she was. I can't imagine going to a foreign country, with no real grasp of the languages, to live. And that is now, when there are so many options to to help me. If women's history interests you or history of the southwest or German Jewish people, this book will probably have something to bring you. If you are looking for a scary ghost story, even though this has moments with psychics and tv's Ghost Hunters, look for another book. This isn't that kind of story. It is a book I would recommend to book clubs though. I think it has a lot that can be discussed. I enjoyed it, taking my time with it, thinking about how things were for my female ancestors.
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