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The Ghostwriter
by Alessandra Torre

Published: 2017-10-02
Paperback : 316 pages
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from New York Times Bestseller Alessandra Torre…

I have three months to write the last book of my life. Three months to confess the details of that day, and how it changed everything for me. 

My name is Helena Ross. I’ve written fifteen romance novels, ten of which have become ...
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from New York Times Bestseller Alessandra Torre…

I have three months to write the last book of my life. Three months to confess the details of that day, and how it changed everything for me. 

My name is Helena Ross. I’ve written fifteen romance novels, ten of which have become international bestsellers. But this one isn't a romance, no Happily Ever After in place. This novel holds only the truth, which I have run away from for four years. The truth, which I have hidden from the police, from my loved ones, from the world. 

This final book?

It's my confession.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


My rules for visitors are simple, printed clearly in size 16 font, laminated and nailed to the center of the door, in an impossible to miss spot. The first rule, as always, is the most important.

1. Do not ring the doorbell.

2. Do not park in the driveway.

3. If you are a solicitor, leave.

4. If you are a religious or political advocate, quietly place your collateral materials underneath the mat.

5. If you are here on a social call, go away.

6. If you are here for business or legal purposes, please contact my agent or attorney.

7. Package deliveries—you have my authorization to leave packages without a signature.

I check the peephole, then crack open my front door and glare at the doorbell ringer, a young woman foolish enough to ignore my sign. She’s probably the nanny of those kids, the ones who have shrieked in the street for almost two hours now. I had incorrectly assumed, three years ago, when I bought every other cul-de-sac lot, that I would be guaranteeing myself exclusive use of the giant round space. Apparently, that isn’t the case, my complaints to the homeowners association met with stubborn denials. “Yes?”

“Helena Parks?” I almost flinch at the use of my married name, one so rarely used. “My name is Charlotte Blanton. I’d like to ask you a few questions.”

I’d like to ask you a few questions. The police officer, his eyes grim, the smell of October in the air. I have just a few questions. The mortician, his thin fingers, the tap of them against a display of coffins.

I stay hidden behind the door and watch the movement of her throat as she swallows, her hands flexing around a stack of papers.

“Are you Helena Parks?” She is less sure of herself, and I enjoy the unease. Maybe she’s a fan, a reader who hunted past publishing records and marriage licenses. It’s happened before. The last one required the police. This woman, her thin shoulders jutting through a cardigan, I can probably handle.

“I’m not interested in visitors.” My words are scratchy, and I clear my throat.

“It will only take a moment.”

“No.” I start to shut the door and she places her palm on it. I pause, and I really need to amend the rules and add Visitors will not touch the door. Then again, this girl obviously has no regard for authority, her eyes skipping right past my laminated list in her ring of the bell.

“Please,” she says. “It’s about your husband.”

My husband. I hate those words falling from another person’s lips. They are so bland, so weak for everything that he was. My fingers tighten on the knob. I made my statements to the police, answered hundreds of their questions. I had passed that test. To go through it again now, with this new woman, isn’t something I am interested in. Especially not today, the giggle of children still scraping on my nerves.

I say nothing, avoiding her eyes as I close the door and flip the deadbolt, the click satisfying as it locks her outside.

I turn away from the door, hurrying toward the stairs, intent on getting away, to my office where I can shut the door, turn up my music, and drown out the sound of her intrusion.

She knocks, a rap-rap-rap that stabs at my psyche, my breath coming hard as I attempt to jog up the stairs, my muscles resisting, my body’s weakness showing.

Over four years since that day. What loose thread could this woman have found? view abbreviated excerpt only...

Discussion Questions

How did you feel about Helena's mother? Do you feel as though she was in the right - trying to restrict Helena's time with Bethany? Do you think Helena was justified in cutting off contact with her after that day? Do you think she was a good mother? A good grandmother?

How different do you think the Ghostwriter/Author relationship would have been if Mark had been female? Would she have shared more sooner or held back things?

Did Simon actually love Helena? Or did he marry her as a cover?

If you were Helena in the panic room, would you have done the same thing she did?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

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Member Reviews

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by Heather S. (see profile) 03/17/20

by Ninette E. (see profile) 01/14/20

  "the ghostwriter"by Carolyn R. (see profile) 07/20/19

you can read the synopsis for yourself ---
this is not a thriller but has a lot of suspense in it. I really liked the development of the main character. This was a really good read for me
... (read more)

by Leslie H. (see profile) 01/07/19

by Lisa C. (see profile) 09/14/18

by Margaret K. (see profile) 09/02/18

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