The Abbot’s Ghost
The Abbott’s Ghost, or Maurice Treherne’s Temptation by Louisa May Alcott
4 stars of 5
At a Christmas get-together, a secret between cousins and the manipulation of others in attendance threaten to prevent the happiness of all involved.
“Leave the future and the past, but let us make the present what it may be — at time to forgive and forget, to take heart and to begin anew. Christmas is a fitting time for such resolves, and the birth of friendship such as ours may be.”
The teen love triangles popular in the YA genre today have nothing on the web of tangled affections that Alcott weaves here in this Christmas ghost story. Frank loves Octavia, who loves Maurice, who loves her back, but is crippled so can’t have her. The General is in love with his wife, Edith, but she also is in love with Maurice (or does she really favor his cousin, Jasper?), while Jasper appears attentive to Rose (but does he really like her?) and her sister Blanche tries to catch Maurice’s attention. Follow all that?
It took awhile to get into the story, but the characters are charming and the way that the story plays out is clever and — though not terribly unexpected — at least ends happily for most.
Overall: Fans of Little Women or Jane Austen will be enchanted by this sentimental Christmas tale