American Ghost: A Novel

Front Cover
Scribner, Oct 9, 2012 - Fiction - 288 pages
18 Reviews
JOLIE HOYT IS A GOOD SOUTHERN GIRL living in Hendrix, a small Florida Panhandle town. The daughter of a Pentecostal preacher who sells insurance on the side, and the best friend of a lively beauty who moves to the big city to pursue a career in interior design, Jolie is all too aware of her family’s closet full of secrets and long-held distrust of outsiders. Nevertheless, she throws caution to the wind when she meets Sam Lense, a Jewish anthropology student from Miami, who is in town to study the ethnic makeup of the region.

Jolie and Sam fall recklessly in love and dream of beginning a life together, far away from Jolie’s buried past. But their affair ends abruptly when Sam is discovered to have pried too deeply into Hendrix’s dark racial history and he becomes the latest victim in a long tradition of small-town violence.

Twelve years later, when a black businessman from Memphis returns to Hendrix to do right by his father’s memory, Jolie and Sam are brought together again. They are forced to revisit the unresolved issues of their young love and finally shed light on the ugly history of Jolie’s hometown.

A complex and compulsively readable Southern saga, continuing in the tradition established by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and brought into the new millennium by writers like Karen Russell and Kathryn Stockett, American Ghost was inspired by Janis Owens’s extensive research on a real lynching that occurred in 1934 in Marianna, Florida.

American Ghost is a richly woven exploration of how the events of our past haunt our present.

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I ended up writing down words that struck me. - Goodreads
A great love story until the 2nd half. - Goodreads
The writing style is succinct yet beautiful. - Goodreads
Great writing over all. - Goodreads
I still don't know what the real plot of the story was. - Goodreads

Review: American Ghost

User Review  - Jamela - Goodreads

I love this book. The history and romance. A great love story until the 2nd half. I can't understand why it would take 6 yrs. for either one of them to contact each other especially in this day and ... Read full review

Review: American Ghost

User Review  - Sue - Goodreads

Highly recommended! Not what I expected at all - the title is somewhat misleading although once you finish the book you understand why the author chose that title. It was so well written, with richly ... Read full review

About the author (2012)

Janis Owens is the author of three previous novels and a regional cookbook. The only daughter of a Pentecostal preacher turned insurance salesman, she inherited her love of storytelling from her parents. She lives in Newberry, Florida.

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