Book Review: Fiddler's Ghost by Mitch Jayne

by Alaena Hope [January 7, 2021]

This unique ghost story is nothing at all like the chilling tales that the term ‘ghost story’ usually brings to mind.

Fiddler’s Ghost by Mitch Jayne is told from the point of view of Steve Clark, a newly-hired school teacher who moves to the Ozarks with his wife, Lacey, in order to teach in Indian Glade. They settle quickly into their new home, getting to know the local customs and their many quirky neighbors as they prepare for the birth of their first baby. Everything is moving along smoothly when the couple discover that their new house is haunted. It doesn’t take them long, however, to realize that their ghost is not at all malicious. In fact, he seems to be quite the shy old gentleman with a deep love for music.

As the couple grow more comfortable with their supernatural houseguest, they begin to see him as not only a curiosity but a member of the family.

Though the pacing of the story is on the slow side, I enjoyed that about it. The vivid imagery and balance of major events and small but poignant moments helped me get a feel for the setting and lifestyle. This is really more a story about life than a story about ghosts. It’s about the way every individual influences the lives of those around them and how that influence can spread far beyond that to affect the lives of complete strangers and even future generations.

The storyline involving the jaded old local preecher was particularly memorable for me, both because of the humor and because I appreciated how the story highlighted the importance of trying to understand people and where they come from rather than simply making judgments.

So if you’re looking for thrills and suspense, this isn’t really the right ghost story to turn to. But if you enjoy quirky tales about life with a touch of mystery and a sprinkle of philosophy, this book is definitely worth considering.