Ghost Wall

Ghost Wall Review

In the north of England, far from the intrusions of cities but not far from civilization, Silvie and her family are living as if they are ancient Britons, surviving by the tools and knowledge of the Iron Age.

For two weeks, the length of her father's vacation, they join an anthropology course set to reenact life in simpler times. They are surrounded by forests of birch and rowan; they make stew from foraged roots and hunted rabbit. The students are fulfilling their coursework; Silvie's father is fulfilling his lifelong obsession. He has raised her on stories of early man, taken her to witness rare artifacts, recounted time and again their rituals and beliefs--particularly their sacrifices to the bog. Mixing with the students, Silvie begins to see, hear, and imagine another kind of life, one that might include going to university, traveling beyond England, choosing her own clothes and food, speaking her mind.

The ancient Britons built ghost walls to ward off enemy invaders, rude barricades of stakes topped with ancestral skulls. When the group builds one of their own, they find a spiritual connection to the past. What comes next but human sacrifice?

A story at once mythic and strikingly timely, Sarah Moss's Ghost Wall urges us to wonder how far we have come from the "primitive minds" of our ancestors.

Title:Ghost Wall
Edition Language:English

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Amalia Gavea

    ‘’Darkness was a long time coming.’’ This book is my first contact with Sarah Moss’s writing and it proved to be so fascinating...The word Ghost in the title, the bogs and Northumberland dr...

  • Diane S ?

    My first read by this author, but it certainly won't be the last. I'm not sure I can even adequately explain why. It takes place in Northumberland, an archeological expedition, trying to imitate those...

  • Rachel

    I've read so many fantastic short novels and novellas this year (On Chesil Beach, Convenience Store Woman, Tin Man) that I'm not sure why I insist on underestimating what can be accomplished in such a...

  • Ova - Excuse My Reading

    Full review hereIf there was a contest of writing, that will require telling a story using the least amount of words, this book would win it this year.A borderline novella, Ghost Wall is a powerful st...

  • Katie

    In a nutshell, I like my feminism a lot more nuanced than this. A short novel about a family who go into the wilds to recreate as best as possible the conditions of an iron age settlement. There's a l...

  • Meike

    What an atmospheric, haunting, and ultimately political read! Sarah Moss writes about teenage Silvie, whose father is obsessed with ancient British history, because he (incorrectly) envisions it as a ...

  • Hannah

    Sarah Moss is one of those authors I have wanted to get to for what feels like ages because I had this feeling that I would adore her work. But sometimes that feeling of a potential favourite author m...

  • Paul

    A brilliant little novella that can easily be read in one sitting. For a brief story with a simple plot, there is so much going on. It is set in Northumberland, in a hot summer in the early 1990s, in ...

  • Susan

    I have enjoyed the writing of Sarah Moss since reading, “Cold Earth,” in 2009 and was delighted to receive her latest work for review. This is a short novel, almost a novella, but still retains a ...

  • Antonomasia

    This is the kind of 3-star rating that means 5 stars for some things, and 2 stars for others. Ghost Wall is brilliant in some ways - but its political implications are not fully coherent, and there ar...