The Ghost of Gracie Flynn

The Ghost of Gracie Flynn

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When university student Gracie Flynn dies in tragic circumstances, her three friends—Robyn, Cohen and Sam—deal with the aftermath in their own way. Instead of leaning on each other, they drift apart and lose touch. Eighteen years later, the three are reunited by a chance encounter. Robyn has returned home after working overseas as a foreign correspondent. Cohen has bought a luxurious house with his influencer wife. And bestselling author Sam has become the father of a young daughter. But cracks soon appear in each of their lives. Before long, death rocks their lives again, when Sam’s body is discovered aboard a boat on the river. As the past rushes up to collide with the present, and secrets—both old and new—are uncovered, everything they thought they knew will completely unravel.

About the author:

Joanna Morrison is a Perth based author with a background in journalism and a PhD in creative writing. Her short fiction has appeared in Australian literary journals and anthologies. The Ghost of Gracie Flynn was shortlisted for the 2020 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award and subsequently offered publication by Fremantle Press. Joanna now works in her local independent bookstore, Open Book, where she sells books, moderates author talks and hosts book clubs.

Questions for discussion:

  1. The Ghost of Gracie Flynn has an unusual narrator—how long did it take for you to realise who was telling the story, and what impact did this have on the way you read it?
    Which character did you relate to most? Why?
  2. What elements of your own young adulthood years did you recognise in the younger version of Gracie, Robyn, Cohen and Sam?
  3. How did Gracie’s tragic death impact each of the remaining friends—Robyn, Cohen and Sam?
  4. Why do you think Robyn, Cohen and Sam drifted apart after Gracie’s death instead of sticking together and supporting one another?
  5. In what ways does Gracie’s death impact the future life decisions Robyn, Cohen and Sam make?
  6. How does author Joanna Morrison create suspense in the novel, even though we know in the first chapter (and in the book blurb) that Sam has died in mysterious circumstances?
  7. How does Sam’s death in the first chapter affect the way you read the rest of the book?
  8. At what point in the novel did you work out how Gracie died and/or who was responsible? How did this knowledge impact the way you understood and responded to the other characters?
  9. What does The Ghost of Gracie Flynn suggest about the way our past can impact our present?
  • What is something (large or small) that occurred in your past that has influenced who you are today and/or how you show up in the world?

If you liked this book, you may also like …

The River Mouth by Karen Herbert (Fremantle Press)

My Father’s Shadow by Jannali Jones (Magabala Books)

The Night Village by Zoe Deleuil (Fremantle Press)

Red Dirt Talking by Jacqueline Wright (Fremantle Press)

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz (Allen & Unwin)

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