BOOK CLUB: The Ghost of Gracie Flynn

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[Total: 4 Average: 3.8]

The Ghost of Gracie Flynn by Australian debut author Joanna Morrison is a mystery fiction full of tragedy, friendship, loss, and secrets.

Gracie Flynn, the narrator, tells the tale from someplace or other. There were four of them attending university in Perth, WA, with Gracie and Cohen, Robyn, and Sam.  Even though they were couples the four of them were inseparable, that was until Gracie died in baffling circumstances. 

After Gracie’s death, Cohen, Robyn, and Sam were left in disbelief and pain.  As the years progressed, they adapted to life forging their own paths and living separate lives but never forgetting the memory of Gracie. Little did they know Gracie was keeping a watchful eye on them.

Eighteen years later, the three remaining friends are fortuitously reunited. Robyn has returned home to Australia after her journalism post overseas, Cohen is in financial trouble and his heart constantly remains with Gracie, Sam is an author, married with a daughter Isla. 

When misfortune happens again, and Sam is found dead on his boat questions are raised; is this a coincidence or an accident? Will Gracie’s death be revealed.

For her debut novel, Morrison exhibits a great style of writing. She gives the narration a subtle tone, building enough suspense yet at the same time slowly giving clues to unfold the storyline.

She then released me from the suspense by plunging me into her world of imagination filled with thrills, tension, and action, which felt satisfying.  Her depictions of scenes and characters are vivid which added colour to my imagination and made the reading experience fun. 

The characters are well-developed as the author highlights their emotions and thoughts impressively, making it easy to connect with them.  The novel provides a good measure of human nature. It was impossible not to feel Gracie’s pain and Cohen’s anguish after losing her.  A different aspect I enjoyed in the novel was Gracie telling her story and moments in time to Isla.  

I was drawn in by the story from the beginning. Delightful and quirky are the two words that I describe The Ghost of Gracie Flynn.  Readers are taken right along in the mystery until the answers are finally revealed. I highly recommend.

Thank you, Beauty and Lace and Fremantle Press for the opportunity to read and review.

A selection of our members have been reading The Ghost of Gracie Flynn. You can read their thoughts in the comments below, or add your own review.

If you like this book, we recommend you read One of Us.

6 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Ghost of Gracie Flynn

  1. I started reading this book and I did have to reread the first few chapters as I kind of got lost due to another character was talking but I kept flipping back on the pages thinking I had missed the name. It suddenly dawned on me that it was Gracie kind of narrating some of the story being told.

    Okay got that figured out but then I got lost with every chapter and even within the storyline starting with a year, day, date and month. An example to know what I am talking about is 2019 Monday 18th February, 2019 Saturday 12th January, 1998 Friday 17th April, 2019 Saturday 12th January, 2000 Wednesday 23rd February and then 2019 Monday 14th January. All that is from pages 1 to 36 and does continue throughout the book. It wasn’t hard to confuse me but I kept reading and decided to not look back on what dates etc we were at, and just continued reading the storyline.

    Once I took myself from looking at the years, I was then able to work out the characters in the book and I also wanted to know…..who did kill Gracie.!!! We know she is dead but how and by whom?

    It is an interesting mystery read and the cover is hauntingly lovely. If you stick with the storyline the way I did, I am sure you will enjoy reading the book and also will be turning the pages to see how she died. It did keep me entertained about half way through the book and I could not put it down.

    I liked the characters in the book and getting to know more about them as they had all been friends for a long time when in their teens. The death of Gracie had changed their lives forever and they needed to know the truth.

    This is the first book I have read of Joanna Morrison and I see that this book was shortlisted for the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award so congratulations for that.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Fremantle Press for an interesting read.

  2. Thank you to Fremantle Press and Beauty and Lace Club for my copy.

    The story is mostly narrated by Gracie who is dead and been watching her friends live their lives for the last eighteen years since she died. Sometimes it is told from the perspective of the other characters then switches back to Gracie. This is not a supernatural, creepy or scary book, but is gripping because you don’t know how Gracie has died until later in the book or why she is watching over her friends.
    Gracie mostly tells things to baby Isla who is Sam’s daughter, though I never really understood what the point of that was.
    Told over three different time periods of 1998, 2001 and 2019/present day and each different timeline has a heading so you know where you are in the story which makes it easy to follow.
    The story is set in Perth, WA in the affluent suburbs of Nedlands and Cottesloe. I found this part relatable as I live in Perth and know most of the streets and places.
    Not bad for a debut novel and most of the story flowed well and I read it quite quickly as I wanted to find out how Gracie died and why she was so invested in hanging around watching her friend’s lives.
    3.5 stars

  3. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read The Ghost of Gracie Flynn by Joanna Morrison.

    I totally enjoyed this mystery!!

    This book kept me turning the pages with its well written story lines.

    This is the story of 4 friends from their uni days through to adulthood.

    One of the friends die and the story follows their lives and how it affected them in their lives.

    Three very successful friends who were once close and drift apart after their friend passes away will draw you into their lives and make you think did they ever really know each others as well as you thought!

    Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  4. Thank you for this book reading opportunity.

    It did take me a couple of restarts to get into this book and I kept checking what year I was reading to try to follow the time line, as it goes back and forth often. Once I stopped doing this, and just read the book it was a bit easier to read and follow.

    The book was sweet and sad, because it is Gracie, who is dead, and narrates to us. She has an endearing quality. I could almost feel her presence as we watched the other characters’ activities and we are aware of her comments as she watches them. It was a strange feeling of sorts.

    I can appreciate the writing style as it’s a bit of a complex reading, it could be me, but if you enjoy a book that will keep you going and takes you on a different journey, this a great book to read. It’s definitely something different, not particularly my favourite read, but it was an experience, thank you.

  5. I’ve got to say, I enjoy most of the books I get from beauty and lace, but this one just didn’t grab me. It was confusing, especially initially at the start when the characters were being introduced, but also throughout the whole story as it swapped timelines a lot. I have many books on the go at once and the big clue for me that I wasn’t enjoying this book, was when I was reading everything else, but this. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review this book >:o)

  6. The Ghost of Gracie Flynn is the debut novel by Joanna Morrison, it’s an intriguing mystery told from the viewpoint of the murder victim.
    The novel is set in Perth, focussed on a group of university friends, Gracie was one of the group and she died in mysterious circumstances. Understandably Gracie’s death has deeply affected her three close friends and they have lost touch. Eighteen years later they meet by chance. Cohen was Gracie’s partner, and he still has not got over Gracie’s loss, Robyn was her best friend and while she has thrown herself into her journalistic career she realises she’s burnt out and needs to return home. It seems that Cohen is the only one who appears to have moved on, he’s married with a baby daughter but its soon clear he is on edge.
    I’ve read other novels in recent years which have been told through the murder victim’s voice and its an interesting device. This was the case in this novel, it took me a little while to get into the story, but I was intrigued enough to continue reading and keen to see if my thoughts for who was the murderer were correct. The novel shows how one mistake can ruin so many lives, whether its through a lack of knowledge, stupidity or deliberate. The novel jumps from the time leading up to the murder in 2001 to 2019. It’s a hot summer in Perth and the descriptions of the locations and from the feel of the writing around the heat and humidity its clear that the author knows the area well.
    Thank you to Beauty & Lace Book Club and Fremantle Press for the opportunity to read this novel.

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