Moving to Greenwich Village has been a dream of Eve Weldon’s, ever since she listened to her mother’s stories about life there during the 1960s. Her mother’s death in Eve’s childhood only reinforced that desire to learn all about what life was like there for the artists during the Beat generation, and to resurrect in her mind what that artistic community was like.
But when Eve finally leaves her home in the Midwest and arrives in NY to rent an old apartment in the Village, she discovers an unexpected resident: the ghost of Donald Bellows, a writer who haunts her whenever she is inside its walls. He needs her to complete his life’s work, which he dictates to her, like a voice inside her head.
Finding the right job takes effort, but when Eve lands a gig as a writer on a morning show called Smell the Coffee, she could be in over her head. Surprisingly, she lands the job, but then, from her first moment, she is scrambling to learn her craft, keep out of trouble, and to somehow jump-start a social life. All of which takes a supreme effort, since she cannot do much inside the walls of her home with the ghost clamoring in her ears.
Following Eve’s journey is captivating, as she hurdles all the obstacles along the way with aplomb. She very creatively manages a few difficult feats, including meeting some unique artists, like designer Matthias Klieg, who, incidentally, has known many of the Beat artists who traveled in Donald’s circle. While uncovering the stories of that time, writing Donald’s work, and hanging on to a semblance of a career, she takes a daring leap that could land her in a great place—or end her life in the Village.
What does Eve discover in her research, and how does the magic of the Village help Eve forge her new life? And how do the discoveries answer questions about her mother’s life and role in that community? What will Eve’s sojourn bring to her new life, even as it reconciles questions about her old one?
I came to love the ghost of Donald Bellows, whose unique voice revealed much about a unique time in NY history. Eve’s adventures and misadventures were delightful and took me, as the reader, into the midst of contemporary NY life, even as it led me down the pathways of another time. As a reader, I became invested in Eve’s journey, wanting to walk where she walked and to enjoy her quest. The Ghost of Greenwich Village: A Novel was delightfully colorful, with fleshed out characters that made me laugh, even as I held my breath during their exploits. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Five stars.