Ghostmoth – Michele Forbes
Sometimes a novel comes along which leaves you thinking about it days, even weeks afterwards, Ghostmoth is one of those books.
Flitting between 1949 and 1969, Ghostmoth tells the story of Katherine and her struggle to be with the man she really loves and the obligation she feels to stay with her fiancé.
It’s 1949 and Katherine is a talented opera singer with the performing world at her fingertips. She has a devoted boyfriend, George, who she should be happy with. However it becomes apparent from the off that Katherine doesn’t want to settle for plain and nice, she wants to be swept off her feet. Enter Tom McKinley.
The pair soon start a passionate affair and you get the feeling that Katherine might just leave behind her average old George for a wonderful new life with Tom. But with any good book things aren’t as simple as that. One night has shattering consequences not only for the rest of Katherine’s life but George’s too. The pair do stay together but both lead an unhappy life with a tumultuous relationship.
It feels realistic and almost like a memoir. It’s a novel which has powerful sentences littered all over the pages which you want to keep safe and remember.
It’s a novel of contrasts – the beautiful and glamorous star and the down trodden mum of three, an exhilarating love affair and a compromise, the battle between wrong and right. The list goes on.
The ending is truly harrowing and feels unbelievably real. Forbes has taken the reader on a journey of Katherine’s life and you as the reader are with her until the very end. I was desperate for there to be a happy ending.
It’s amazing how the ending of a book can change your mood, usually I close most books feeling content and relaxed. The ending of Ghostmoth left me feeling grey and gloomy yet it wouldn’t have made sense for there to be a happy ending.
I feel this is only the beginning for Forbes and it’s a debut people will be discussing for a long time.