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Lost–and found–love on the North Shore: Jack and the Ghost

Oct 13, 2019 06:04AM ● By Editor

From Jack and the Ghost - October 13, 2019

Jack Cooper, last in a long family line of fishermen, lives alone in the remote North Shore town of Greyshore, haunted by grief. But he will discover what it means to be truly haunted when a ghostly woman appears to lure him to land’s end, to the beckoning waves that have broken his heart. In a tale weird and whimsical, as familiar as folklore and as strange as life itself, musical artists Chan Poling and Lucy Michell create a world where even the most hardened soul has to see that grief may be tough, but life is tougher.

As Jack’s childhood friend, the loyal and endlessly optimistic Red, tries to counter the ghost’s allure, the story exerts its own charm, guiding us through a landscape of prose and pictures at once irreverent and dead serious. Though the book’s surreal seduction might call to mind the likes of Wes Anderson, Edward Gorey, or the Decemberists, it is, finally, Poling and Michell’s singular accomplishment, an enchanting imaginative leap into life’s haunted depths.

Published by the University of MN Press

FICTION $17.95 £13.99 Cloth/jacket ISBN: 978-1-5179-0571-2 SEPTEMBER 72 pages 55 color plates 6 1/8 x 8


“Jack and the Ghost is a gorgeously illustrated meditation on grief and loss, a poignant reminder to not let the ghosts of the past control the present.” —Jeremy Messersmith

“Finally, a book with pictures that can put a waterproof mascara through its paces.” —Dessa

“Jack and the Ghost is a haunting tale of lost love and the depths we will go to find it. In truth, this is a perfect story for all ages.” —Julie Poling, Red Balloon Bookshop

“Jack and the Ghost is a book with readers who need it— they’re waiting for this book. It does its job with simplicity, charm, and beauty.” —Arthur Phillips, New York Times Notable Book winner and international best-selling novelist

“Chan and Lucy have put together a gorgeous little book featuring deep loss, the rebirth of life, and lush illustrations that remind me of Ludwig Bemelmans’s art for the Madeline series.” —Geoff Herbach, author of Stupid Fast

Authors coming to Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais on November 30.

Drury Lane Books
  • Saturday, November 30, 2019
  • 7:00 PM  9:00 PM
From two beloved Minnesota musicians, a unique and moody collaboration in the form of a picture book for adults. Jack and the Ghost is a gothic, lyrical evocation of a shipwreck, ghosts, and living through grief in a seaside town. 

Chan Poling and Lucy Michell will entertain the audience at Drury Lane with a reading of their book Jack and the Ghost, a discussion of how it came about, and perhaps perform a few songs!
Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here