This is a great story. It goes back and forth between two generations and tells a murder mystery, a ghost story, and a love story. It keeps your attention and ultimately connects all the stories together.
The synopsis doesn't do this book justice. The "other" story is just as engrossing as the one about Conary. The author completely and gracefully takes you back into not one but two different times and places and the story leaves you in awe as to how human emotion and feeling can change so dramatically.
With each chapter, Beth Gutcheon takes us back in time, first to the earlier life of the narrator, a young woman, Hannah Gray, transplanted from her home in Boston to a former schoolhouse in the Maine coast town of Dundee with her stepmother and her brother. Then she takes us back further in time to another young woman, Claris (Osgood) Haskell, who grew up in Dundee and was part of a fateful moment in the history of the area. Time brings the two women together, in a fashion, as each makes a fateful decision about love and life that costs them both dearly. Each suffers, in their way, at the hands of families that do not understand them. And each escapes, in their way, only to find those choices and decisions costly and painful. This is a story of love, won and lost, and family, and the prices we pay for the choice we make. And how sometimes, a part of us goes on, even after the end.
More Than You Know was the first novel I read in one workday since, I think, These Is My Words more than a year ago. Hannah's narrative voice kept my attention in half of the chapters, and the sense of tragedy surrounding Claris's life kept my attention the other half of the time. Since Gutcheon chose to tell the stories in alternating chapters, she left me hanging again and again. . . so I kept reading, again and again. Claris's half of the story reminded me of the novel Drowning Ruth, and it was, indeed, just as irredeemably tragic (though I never finished Schwarz's book). Claris's story also reminded me of Angela Carter's retelling of the Lizzie Borden legend in her book Saints and Strangers. Hannah's story, thankfully, was fresh enough to carry the book past any similarities to others that I did not care for as well. At the end, I especially liked the character of Reverend Davidson, who believed in ghosts. Highly recommended.
This is a creepy book. After receiving it and starting to read it, I remembered that I had tried to read this previously. The ghost story part of it creeps me out so bad, I can't finish it. If you like ghost stories, then this is a great book for you!
This book was hard to get into. Not that interesting of a story, but I did finish it to the end. The ghost parts of the story are very creepy and made me not want to be awake after everyone else went to bed in my house.
I really liked this book. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. The author captured the family dynamics occurring and how the patterns of behavior escalated into tragedy. One of the characters is an observer - an outsider drawn into the family circle - and her observations really help you understand just how broken this family has become - mostly because they won't share their pain or any other feelings. It was a very moving story.
This book took me by surprise. After reading the reviews from other PBS members, I decided to give it a try. WOW! I loved this book! I can't say exactly why, but I started reading it on a rainy day and finished it the same day. The author has a way to keep you interested throughout the book.
A good book. It is the recounting of a love between Hannah Gray of Dundee, Maine and Conary Crocker, the town bad boy. Hannah begins her story saying, "Somebody said true love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen. I've seen both and I don't know how to tell you which is worse." This spare, piercing, and unforgettable novel bridges two centuries of two intense love stories as Hannah and Conary's fate is interwoven with the tale of a marriage that took place in Dundee a hundred years earlier.
This book is a haunting and capitvating tale of two intense love stories ocurring 100 years apart. I really enjoyed this book. It combines the chilling tension of a murder mystery with the most tender elements of youthful romance.
Beautifully written book of the intergenerational relationship between two women and their loves. As Anne Rivers Siddons says on the back, "Beth Gutcheon speaks truly and poignantly of two places that haunt me -- the rich, dark country of the Maine coast and the rich, dark country of the human heart."
Gutcheon does a superb job of weaving two stories separated by a century together. Love, loss, and ghosts are truly the main characters of the story. The ghost encounters are vividly described and will be vividly recalled when the lights are out. This is a gem of a story.
An interwoven story of two different time periods except it wasn't woven all that well. Each story was interesting by itself. Bringing the two stories together was a bit weak. I loved the characters, the location and each story line. But together it didn't really work for me because it did not come full circle. You were left guessing. Due to this disappointment I searched for some reader reviews at Amazon. Many agreed. But one woman wrote, "I didn't get it while I was reading or get it when I finished. It came to me later that I could read between the lines." Well, I'm waiting.
I have just finished this book and have to congragulate the author Beth Gutcheon. A longtime reader of this author, I found More Than You Know totally different from her other books and applaud her ability to change both tone and style of this title. Paralleling two tragic stories, Ms.Guthecon allows her readers to glimpse life in small town Maine almost 100 years apart with an equally paralleling story. The reader not only comes to know the characters well but also the landscape of the island and town. The story, while sad, has wondrous moments of first love and devotion. Finally, I found the book fairly reminiscent of The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve, another very compelling and different read.
This book had such promise, but I was so disappointed in the handling of the ghost story that I ended up not liking the novel at all. I loved the setting in Maine, I liked the main character, I didn't mind the choppy time period breaks, and I thought the pacing of the book was good - I believe I stayed up quite late, reading into the wee hours. So the writing definitely pulled me in. There was tension in the story to keep me going to figure out what exactly was going on. Except I never got answers to my questions about certain characters or situations. The ghost in this story was certainly creepy, but wasn't directly identified and did not have a specific purpose for haunting. The two story lines didn't seem to have any connection. Way too many loose ends left hanging for me. I've liked other novels by Beth Gutcheon, but I felt gypped after reading this one. (In contrast, I'd recommend "The Walker in Shadows" by Barbara Michaels. That book does an excellent and memorable job of addressing young love, ghostly haunting, and great historical details all woven into a cohesive and satisfying storyline.)
Not sure how I felt about this book. It was well written. Don't give up on it, it took a while to get the lay out of the story line. While is was billed a "thriller", it really isn't in the true sense of the word. It was a little dark and somewhat depressing, although it had its lighter moments. An okay read...Gutcheon's "5 Fortunes" was way better.
I found this book a good read. It kept me interested with the present and past intertwining. Its a recounted childhood.
For those interested this is the synposis on the back of the book.
In a small town called Dundee on the coast of Maine, an old woman named Hannah Gray begins her story: "Somebody said 'true love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.' I've seen both and I don't know how to tell you which is worse." Hannah has decided, finally, to leave a record of the passoinate and anguished long-ago summer in Dundee when she met Conary Crocker, the twon bad boy and love of her life. This spare, piercing, and unforgettable novel bridges two centuries and two intense love stories as Hannah and Conary's fate is interwoven with the tale of a marriage that took place in Dundee a hundred years earlier.
I'm sorry, but this book was BOR-ING to me. After having read such authors as Annie Proulx and Barbara Kingsolver, with their unbelievable, poetic descriptions full of minute detail, I just couldn't get into this one. If I'd persevered, maybe I could have enjoyed the story, but I just couldn't. Get a copy of Proulx's Accordion Crimes, or Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible or Prodigal Summer instead.
This book was definitely different than what I expected, but I still really enjoyed. I especially enjoyed how there were two time periods going on in every other chapter to tell the whole story. This method kept the book very interesting and hard to put down. I definitely recommend it to anyone, not just people who enjoy ghost stories.
I really liked how the book jumps between two different time periods. And I thought the author writes very nicely but there was just something missing. By the end of the book I just wasn't satisfied. I had anticipated that I would really like this book. It's not that I didn't like it but it just wasn't what I was expecting it to be.
I definitely was not expecting the time changes with each chapter, but it was a good way to keep me turning the pages. It ended up being different than what I was expecting, but it was still overall a very good read.
This sory bounces between to time periods and while both stories are intersting they really don't have much to do with one another. One story is about a young couple of the md 1850's who marry and live on an island of the Maine coast. Their story is one of hardships, betrayal, young love and regrets. I found their story sad and drepressing yet hauntingly real. The second story told though out this book is of a young couple madly in love during the mid 1950's. Their story is full of love , adventure and more of a coming of age story. I found the way the author weaved both stories together to be very intersting and her charc. development was super. I live in a small town I while reading this story I found myself able to envision these lovers walking in my town. I would recommend this read to anyone who wants a great story based on real human emotions and real life experiences.
In the coastal town of Dundee, Maine, an elderly lady begins telling her story: "Somebody said 'true love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.' I've seen both and I don't know how to tell you which is worse." Although her children cannot understand why she insists on traveling back to Dundee, Maine every winter, Hannah Gray nevertheless finds herself drawn back to the place where her heart has always been. So, as she reaches the twilight of her life, Hannah decides, finally, to leave a record of the long-ago Dundee summer when she first met Conary Crocker.
Although the tale that she recounts is definitely not one which she wishes to tell in darkness, Hannah feels infinitely better telling such a story in the town of Dundee - the town where so many of her memories of Con Crocker remain. Con Crocker is the local 'bad boy' of Dundee, and he quickly becomes the love of young Hannah's life. Her story tells of the passionate and anguished summer when Conary's fate and her own became intertwined for all time.
Hannah and Conary's anguished teenage love story intersects with another intense love story - the love story of Claris Osgood and Danial Haskell. As a matter of fact, this spare, piercing, and unforgettable novel spans two centuries, as Hannah's and Conary's fates become intertwined with the story of a complicated, yet undying romance - that of Danial and Claris - and interwoven with the tale of a marriage that took place in Dundee a hundred years earlier.
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Although I initially found the time jumps between eras somewhat confusing, I was soon caught up in the plot and ensnared by both stories. The stories may have been separated by centuries, but each one resonated with the other fairly perfectly.
I appreciated how each separate love story ran parallel to each other, yet complemented each other so well. I also thought that the addition of the ghost in Hannah's story enhanced the level of eeriness of her story; there was a subtle increase to the tension within the story, and I appreciated that the creepiness wasn't necessarily always 'in your face' shocking. I will definitely be putting Beth Gutcheon's name at the top of my wish list, and give this book an A+!
In the small town of Dundee, Maine, an old woman named Hannah Gray begins her story: "Somebody said 'true love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen." I've seen both and I don't know how to tell you which is worse." Hannah has decided, finally, to leave a record of the passionate and anguished long-ago summer when she met Conary Crocker, the town bad boy and love of her life.
I thought this book was going to be so much better than it was. I was looking forward to a creepy haunted house story and this was not that at all. The story was o.k. but at the beginning I was confused by the two stories and that never happens to me. All in all, it was just o.k.