Vault Review: The Ghost and Mrs Muir by R.A. Dick

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Burdened by debt after her husband’s death, Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted. Upon discovering the rumors to be true, the young widow ends up forming a special companionship with the ghost of handsome former sea captain Daniel Gregg. Through the struggles of supporting her children, seeking out romance from the wrong places, and working to publish the captain’s story as a book, Blood and Swash, Lucy finds in her secret relationship with Captain Gregg a comfort and blossoming love she never could have predicted.

I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of this book! I’ve absolutely adored the movie since I was a teenager and didn’t even realise it was a book, which is disgraceful. I will go so far as to say that I still prefer the movie, but this book was still great fun and a different spin on a story I’ve loved for a very long time.

For those that don’t know the story, The Ghost and Mrs Muir is about….well… a ghost and Mrs Muir.

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Captain Daniel Gregg is the sea captain ghost of Gull Cottage. When the widowed Lucy Muir decides to get away from her meddling in-laws, she has to deal with a very cranky (but sexy!) ghost while navigating life and love.

Captain Gregg is very, very well done in the book. His harshness and brutal honesty combined with his inner softness is fantastic, making him a great character to spend time with. He meddles more in the book, but that serves to make him even more fun. Plus, he’s there a lot more than he is in the movie!

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Lucy is a little more gullible and annoying in the book than she is in the movie, but still extremely likeable. I wanted to slap her while she was having her affair with Miles Fairley (who is a rather different person in the book- still slimy and foul, but worse), but I was so pleased she came to her senses rather quickly! I love her sustained desire for independence, even though she is tested by both Miles and her in-laws.

Another addition to the book is Lucy’s son, Cyril, who is as dry as a nun’s… you know. I was glad he was omitted from the film, as he would have just been too much to deal with. For the purposes of the book, he worked to complicate matters and cause friction, which helped to drive the plot along.

My copy has a foreward by Adriana Trigiani (who I’ve never heard of before). I’m thoroughly annoyed that she spent ages saying how much she loves the film and the story… but gets Captain Gregg’s death wrong. Did no one read her piece before putting it in? She states that he died in a house fire, but neither the movie nor the book have him in a fire- he died by kicking on the gas heater while sleeping, accidentally “committing suicide” by carbon monoxide poisoning. Captain Gregg wouldn’t be caught dead in a house fire!

Overall, this book was quick and fun to read. It’s not amazingly written and you can see why it spent time out of print, but it’s not bad. The characterisation is perfect but the writing lets it down a little. I still prefer the movie, but I’m very glad to have finally got to read the book that began it all!

3/5 Stars

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