Synopses & Reviews
Maggie Foltz is a fifty-five-year-old cocktail waitress in a rundown casino in the southern Nevada Mojave Desert. She spends her days serving drinks to lonely old folks playing the slot machines and her nights trying to escape her bitter past. When she befriends Sarah, a young Native American woman who is hired to cook in the casino coffee shop, her life begins to change.
Maggie finds herself falling in love with a memory-haunted Vietnam veteran and warily begins to hope that together they can find peace. Then Sarah is mysteriously murdered, and Sarah's ghost enlists Maggie to accompany her on a quest for the wisdom that she needs in order to move into the next world. The story ranges from smoky casinos into the harsh magnificence of the desert and the reservation where Sarah's people are trying to preserve their culture and find their own place in a modern world that seems to want them to be either shamans or losers.
Sojourner's characters are compellingly real, and the Mojave setting has rarely been depicted as sensitively or truthfully. This is a memorable story of love, redemption, and solace, told by one of the West's finest writers.
"I have a soft spot for this book, and I like these characters. I think this is a book that serves Nevada really well, both in terms of landscape and in terms of the loving but unsanitized description of those who tend to wind up in a place like Creosote." Pam Houston, author of Sight Hound
"Sojourner skillfully weaves the wounded pasts and hopeful futures of these characters into a thoughtful portrayal of the unshakable human instinct to survive, despite unspeakable suffering and haunting memories." Booklist
"...a deftly written page-turner of a novel with author Mary Sojourner bringing even her peripheral and supporting characters to life in the mind's eye of the reader." The Midwest Book Review
"...a storytelling triumph." The Source Weekly
"The payoff for Ghosts comes at the end, after the reels have spun, the lights have lowered and almost everybody has gone home. When it does, it's quiet, too, two people sliding in together, in such a way that it isn't a gamble anymore, but a sure thing." Katie Schneider, The Oregonian (Read the entire )
A powerful novel about the women and men who work and play in Nevada’s small-town casinos
About the Author
Mary Sojourner is a fiction writer, columnist, activist, and National Public Radio commentator. She is the author of six books and is a dedicated defender of the environment. She writes and lives in Bend, Oregon.