Richard Peck Bruce Clements - Essay

Bruce Clements

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

All ghost stories turn on the question of whether the ghost is real or not…. If she's real, the writer has to be very good to keep the story from becoming melodramatic claptrap.

[In The Ghost Belonged to Me] Peck is very good. His ghost is believable and affecting, and so is his hero. Alexander is direct, he knows what he wants, he's not too embarrassed by his faults, he's observant, he's honest. And he has an elegant style, at once down-to-earth and courtly.

Alexander's most impressive quality is his sense of justice, the care he takes to report honestly what he saw and felt and to give everyone, with the unfortunate exception of his family, a fair hearing. He talks...

(The entire section is 446 words.)