A review by mdpenguin
A Spectral Hue, by Craig Laurance Gidney


This might sound a little odd, but it took me a moment to realize that Gidney was a really good writer. Something about the selection and positioning of the words is a little on the plain side but the imagery that they convey is amazing. This is such a rich and beautiful book. It has this haunting quality that fills the reader full of the place and characters that's somewhat reminiscent of the haint that fills the artists with their compulsions to express her vision. It's effective, which is such a strange thing to say of such a romantic ghost story, but it really is the best way that I can describe the way that the author pushes images into the reader's heads. I think it helps somewhat that the imagery of the eastern MD marshlands made me long to be back in the marshes of my hometown, but I think that I'd have loved it as much even without that personal anchor. There are moments that aren't perfect – sometimes the way that memories are told feels a little out of place and forced a little to fill in some gaps, and the movement of the final two chapters seemed a bit choppy – but there's nothing that managed to push me out of the story or made me less curious about the characters. Overall, it's wondrous and wonderful.