Dusty Waters: A Ghost Story

General Fiction

By Laura J. W. Ryan

Publisher : Field Stone Press

ABOUT Laura J. W. Ryan

Laura J. W. Ryan
I'm an artist, a writer, and I live in an old farmhouse on top of a windswept hill with my Fred, our son, four cats, and one dog named Max. I'm an independent author, my novels, Dusty Waters: A Ghost Story (2009) and The Fractured Hues of White Light (2010) are published by Field Stone Press.



Dusty Waters is a ghost story, a family saga, the history of a haunted house, and a biography of a folksinger. Dusty's friend, Katharine, has volunteered to help her write the official biography, but there is one piece of her life that will not be part of the biography, she can see ghosts; Dusty's ancestral home Tanglewood is filled with them. This inherited sight adds a vexing dimension to her psyche that becomes an uneasy burden.

The story behind the story of Dusty Waters: A Ghost Story goes like this...I've always made up stories, the kind that I would tell my friends, and say "cross my heart, hope to die", well, one night a very long time ago, my friends and I were hiding out on the porch of an empty old house, we were telling ghost stories, and I told a whopper of one about this particular house about a young woman's suicide and her illegitimate newborn baby that was buried in the basement, and I ended the tall tale with the final..."and to this day, you can still hear the baby's cries down there..." well, I couldn't have timed the ending better because just then a baby let rip a cry from the neighbors house and we all ran screaming into the night. Some of Dusty Waters comes from those stories that I told, some of it came along from recent history, and the ghosts of the past.

Extraordinary (literally AND figuratively) tale told by an accomplished storyteller. Even the characters who do not speak are rich and fully-realized. With a dazzling array of personalities, from the quiet, marred Asher, to the sequined flamboyant Dede, there is a favorite here for every taste and consideration. All of the troupe are wrangled by the gravel-voiced, straight-talkin', 6 foot, 3 inch proprietress of Dusty Boots Records. Accompanied by the slap/twang of her guitar, of course.

There are scenes in this book that are unforgettable, so well-written the words drift into your permanent psyche. The plot moves as swift as a spring river, and some of the devices used are unique, which is hard to find for a constant reader. How does an author "show" a reader that it's hard to pick one ghosty voice out of many? Laura Ryan does it, deftly and engagingly.

I'm going to recommend this book to all my reader friends, and I'm going to read it again. It's like a gift to yourself! Thanks, Ms. Ryan!
- Linda Robinson, author of Chantepleure