A writer on the flap of this book called it a "work of art." I must agree. Reading The Winter Ghosts is like looking an impressionist paiting or reading a piece of flowing poetry. The story unfolds like a period film, drawing you in with its simplicity and beautiful language.
It begins with the main character, Freddie, looking for an interpreter for an ancient document he has in his possession. The book seller/interpreter says he'd love to hear the story behind the exceptionally rare piece of writing and how Freddie came to have it. The book then becomes Freddie's memories of a time when he struggled with his brother's death in WWI. He tries to escape his grief in travel, and one night he wrecks his car and comes upon a small village and some innkeepers who take him in. While lodged there, he has a dream-like experience that is so real to him that he finds it hard to separate it from life, feeling deep love for a girl he swears he talked to for hours. The girl also tells him a haunting tale of her brave escape from enemy soldiers, and she begs him to come and find him the following day. But when Freddie wakes up with a raging fever, the innkeepers are baffled and think him insane.
Has Freddie seen one of the "winter ghosts" the car mechanic warns him about? Is any of his "dream" real and what does it mean for his life? In this brief and beautiful book, Mosse unfolds these mysteries for us with language that seems as if it, too, is from another time and place. I urge you to pick up The Winter Ghosts for something different, a story that strays from today's norm in fiction writing.