THE WEDDING GHOST by Leon Garfield


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In a long story in picture-book format, a young man on the verge of marriage is enticed away on a ghostly quest to the palace of a sleeping beauty. She wakes; later, in the midst of their cathedral wedding, he wakes to his own prosaic nuptials, but will never again be able to recapture the comfortable complacence he enjoyed before his haunting adventure. At his most Dickensian, Garfield introduces Jack the builder's son and his pudding-faced sweetheart, Jill, opening their gifts at a ceremony observed by stodgy contemporary British relatives. Then a mysterious map sets Jack on his journey through fog and skeleton-decked forest; the enchanted abode is deep in dust, the beauty a fey, ethereal variant of Jill. In a feeble bow to fidelity to Jill, Jack hesitates; but reasoning that his alternative is death in the forest, he wakens the enchantress with a kiss. But although site's beguiling, she's also elusive; not to be caught in her mysterious world, she returns to haunt him in his. Keeping's marvelous black-and-white illustrations extend the spooky story, with touches of humor in his caricatures of the characters of this world, some frighteningly ecrie scenes, and the delicately voluptuous beauty (and her mundane double) suggesting the story's sexual overtones. Haunting, poetic, and full of meanings to ponder, here's a tale to intrigue perceptive teens and their elders.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1987
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press--dist. by Salem