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Ammie Come Home von Barbara Michaels
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Ammie Come Home (Original 1968; 1987. Auflage)

von Barbara Michaels (Autor)

Reihen: Georgetown trilogy (1)

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5381533,730 (3.89)33
It begins as a lark -- a harmless diversion initiated by Washington, D.C., hostess Ruth Bennett as a means of entertaining her visiting niece, Sara. But the séance conducted in Ruth's elegant Georgetown home calls something back; something unwelcome ... and palpably evil. Suddenly Sara is speaking in a voice not her own, transformed into a miserable, whimpering creature so unlike her normal, sensible self. No tricks or talismans will dispel the malevolence that now plagues the inhabitants of this haunted place -- until a dark history of treachery, lust, and violence is exposed. But the cost might well be the sanity and the lives of the living.… (mehr)
Mitglied:MasonicLibrary
Titel:Ammie Come Home
Autoren:Barbara Michaels (Autor)
Info:Berkley Publishing Corporation,U.S. (1987)
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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Werk-Details

Haus der Wiederkehr von Barbara Michaels (1968)

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See book 3, Stitches in Time
  Maddz | May 2, 2021 |
Ammie Come Home by Barbara Michaels is a 2005 Harper publication. (originally published in 1968)
I pulled this book from my personal paperback collection, looking for a ‘Halloween’ read.

I’ve been reading through my ‘Barbara Michaels’ books for several years now, but usually, due to the nature of her books, it’s normally around Halloween when I pluck one down from my shelf.

This is one of Michaels’ earlier efforts and is the first installment in the ‘Georgetown’ series.

The cast consists of four people:

Ruth- the favorite aunt
Sara- her niece
Bruce- Sara’s boyfriend/fiancé
Pat- a professor and a possible love interest for Ruth

After a ‘parlor game’ type séance, Sara shows the telltale signs of possession. This sets the foursome off on an intense investigation to discover who is behind the possession, who is haunting Ruth’s house, and why. Their research uncovers a sordid historical mystery… But how will they quiet the spirits?

This novel was originally published in 1968- and as such, it does show its age. However, despite the mild datedness and the use of many standard horror novel staples, this story is still quite effective. The story has all the great elements that create a good spooky tale of suspense. The mystery and amateur sleuthing are interesting, and the passages that describe the powerful entity haunting the characters and the house is atmospheric, and at times a little intense.

I read some of Michael’s novels back when I was a teenager- although by that time the Gothic horror/mystery/romance novel was no longer a hot trend- but since horror novels were my thing back then, I was fan- and Barbara Mertz did continue to write under this pseudonym well into the nineties.

For those who are not familiar- Barbara Mertz also wrote under the name ‘Elizabeth Peters’ – the author of the popular ‘Amelia Peabody’ mystery series.

Her work as ‘Barbara Michaels’ is often classified as ‘Gothic’, which was super popular in the sixties and seventies. In my opinion, some of her books could fall into the horror genre- such as this one and ‘Witch’- while others are milder and might even be labeled as romantic suspense. However, in my opinion, Michaels’ work was edgier and a bit more sinister than other popular authors who fell under the ‘Gothic’ label at the time, and her style was quite unique by comparison.

I must admit that the Michaels’ books I read over the past several years have been a mixed bag, though, with one or two of her last releases being barely recognizable. This one, however, was a good one and brought back memories of the books I devoured in my early teens and turned out to be my favorite ‘Halloween’ read this year.

4 stars ( )
  gpangel | Nov 5, 2020 |
Suspenseful ghost story, a very easy read. ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
Where to start?

I've been hearing my mom rave about how much she loved this book for ever, which in the way of such things between mothers and daughter sometimes, had the perverse effect of making me disinclined to read it. This is spite of my enjoyment of ghost stories and Barbara Michaels' other work. (N.B. I love my mom, just stupid vestiges of teenage stubbornness I suppose.)

When I first cracked it open I got up to chapter 3 and nothing much had happened; a bad dream, a bit of foreshadowing. This was somehow worse; I knew it was going to get creepy, it was going to happen any page now... But all the (necessary) setup made it easy to put the book down until the next day.

I was right; everything starts hitting the fan soon into chapter 4 - and that's where the trouble started for me, because this is a buddy read, and I should be pacing myself, reading small sections to savour and discuss with friends, and I can't put the book down, I have to find out what happens next!! Hot tea was brewed in vain, only to go cold and neglected; by chapter 6 I was firmly of two minds about this book - it was creeptastically gripping and unbelievably condescending and dated in its tone.

As others have noted, Patrick was ...unlikeable. Add to this his behaviour in at least one scene and way too much vagueness pertaining to Ruth's past and I was... unimpressed with our protagonists. Bruce was mostly a pompous git, and Sara was rather vanilla. So while I as still enjoying the story it could go either way for me at this point. I pried myself off the book at the end of chapter 7 and swore I'd not go near it again for at least 24 hours.

I think I made it the 24 hours and I'd like to say I was able to only read a bit more the next day, but that would be crap - I grudgingly went through my to-do list and then sat down with this book and wild horses were not going to part me from it until I finished. I had to know how it ended.

Oh, Barbara Michaels, you crafty, crafty lady. I see what you did there. You never did explain Ruth's past clearly, but you did explain Patrick's behaviour ever so neatly; I didn't have much justification beyond his name for disliking him after that. I especially liked how you sneaked a bit of sophisticated theology in too when you thought nobody would notice. Clever, and it added a tiny bit of heft to the story without beating the reader over the head. Nice.

There's no way anyone who has ever read any ghost story couldn't divine at least some of the ending, but I'll admit my sub-conscious predictions fell short: it was more complex than I had foreseen, which of course made it all the better. As to what finally felled the evil, well, that showed a complexity of theological belief that I don't see much in my spooky reads and I respect Michaels all the more because of it.

All in all an excellent ghost story and one I wouldn't want to read - or re-read - after dark; I'm fairly certain it would scare the bejeezus out of me.

I jest, but the worst part of the book is probably the part where I have to call mom and say: you were right! ;-) ( )
  murderbydeath | Oct 11, 2016 |

The ghost story is solid, although I'm only rating it a three stars for overall enjoyment.

Ammie, Come Home is one of Barbara Michael's most liked and popular ghost mysteries. Ruth lives in a historical home in Georgetown, and has never been bothered by hauntings...until now, that is. The reasons for the hauntings showing up now rather than earlier is part of the mystery.

It's refreshing that Michaels doesn't only stick to young, perky characters to lead her books. Ruth is a forty-something year old woman with a bad divorce in her history, and the male lead is a fifty-year old something wearied teacher. Together they make a unique couple, and I think that Michaels put in some of the anticipation of romance/relationships more convincingly than some of her other stuff. Usually she doesn't have any making out type scenes, but she inched towards that line this time.

Her niece and boyfriend bring forth interesting complimentary characters - as is a usual trope with Michaels, you have two skeptics arguing, one young and more open minded with views, one older and a bit condescending of the other younger generation. Even if she uses this stereotypical pairing often, it always works as a good sounding board and a way to bring in different tensions for the haunting.

The supernatural element is high and I enjoyed the history and background for the 'ghosts', as well as the solving. Fans of hauntings and the paranormal should get a kick out of the story, although be warned this isn't meant to be horror-toned at all. Rich in atmosphere - both old day and new - Michaels weaves a potent spell of feeling the scenes when the ghosts appear and understanding the background of the haunting.

I think it's a little lackluster because it seems to be missing some of the urgency of some of her other novels, so pacing lags a bit. Also, while I always loved Michaels unique writing voice, here the sedateness of her tone is emphasized by story-line.

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
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By five o'clock it was almost dark, which was not surprising since the month was November; but Ruth kept glancing uneasily toward the windows at the far end of the room.
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It begins as a lark -- a harmless diversion initiated by Washington, D.C., hostess Ruth Bennett as a means of entertaining her visiting niece, Sara. But the séance conducted in Ruth's elegant Georgetown home calls something back; something unwelcome ... and palpably evil. Suddenly Sara is speaking in a voice not her own, transformed into a miserable, whimpering creature so unlike her normal, sensible self. No tricks or talismans will dispel the malevolence that now plagues the inhabitants of this haunted place -- until a dark history of treachery, lust, and violence is exposed. But the cost might well be the sanity and the lives of the living.

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Durchschnitt: (3.89)
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