Ghosts of Our Pasts, by Sophia Duane

29 Dec

Format: ebook

Published: December 29, 2011

Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House

Back cover blurb:

A love beyond understanding, a loss unfathomable, a grief unbearable.

He was her anchor and hero, and in the blink of an eye he was gone. Emily Martin has spent the past ten years creating a life of comfort, but still being held back by the weight of the past. As a successful owner of a small gourmet food store in SoHo, her fierce independence is a brutal lesson learned as the result of a tragic loss in her youth.

But after years of giving away only pieces of her heart, Emily is beginning to realize that this leaves her with nothing in the end. For while love is fraught with risk, turning away from love may be the biggest risk of all…

Will Darcy once held the world and his future in the palm of his hand. Engaged to marry the love of his life and on the cusp of a brilliant financial career, he loses everything in a horrifying act of violence that still ripples through his life almost ten years later.
A shell of the man he once was, frozen in grief, he surrounds himself with the beautiful things she loved that only remind him of all that was lost. She was only feet away, but he could not save her. As life tumbles forward around him, Will has to make a decision—to live in the pain of the past or reach out to grasp a new chance at life and love.

Thrown together by fate, these two wounded souls in the heart of a wounded city must do what neither of them have done in years: open up and learn to love.

My review:

When Emily becomes strangely attracted to the quiet, bearded man she sees in the park, little does she know they are inexplicably linked by one of the greatest tragedies of our time, and that they are both still consumed by it. Sophia Duane’s harrowing debut novel, Ghosts of Our Pasts, doesn’t explicitly state what the horrific event was—instead merely giving the reader clues throughout the first half of the book—but it is not too difficult to guess which shocking act killed her firefighter father in New York ten years ago.


Harder to figure out is Will Darcy, but his story, when it unfolds, is achingly painful. While Emily has buried her grief, mostly with casual sex, Will has never gotten over what happened and relives it every night by replaying old voice messages and staring at photographs. His character is, for me, the most intriguing of the pair: He is so numb he has to rely on notes stuck on his bathroom mirror to complete even basic hygiene tasks, yet he spends his days making beautiful floral creations.


The grief in this novel is palpable, making it difficult to read at times. But there is hope, and the recovery of both main characters leads to a satisfying ending. Duane is a major talent to watch—you know a book is hitting its mark when you have chills while reading it. She has tackled an important, very real topic with respect and compassion, and even though it is a work of fiction, it gave me a new insight into the event. Ghosts of Our Pasts is likely to bring tears to your eyes, and you won’t be able to sing the falsetto part in Ms. Jackson again without feeling a little sad.

My rating: 5/5


One Response to “Ghosts of Our Pasts, by Sophia Duane”


  1. Where has the year gone? A challenge update « Books, Baking & Other Objects of Beauty - January 2, 2012

    […] Ghosts of our Pasts by Sophia Duane – Completed September 4, […]

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