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American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest    by Hannah Nordhaus Amazon.com order for
American Ghost
by Hannah Nordhaus
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

'Julia Staab occupies a distant point on my father's family tree my paternal grandfather's maternal grandmother. She came from Germany with her husband, Abraham, a Jewish dry goods merchant who made his living selling his wares on the Santa Fe Trail,' writes Hannah Nordhaus.

Although this early ancestor goes back quite a few generations, Nordhaus devotes this book to her relative and the building, the family home that was eventually transformed into an elegant Santa Fe, New Mexico, hotel that the woman's spirit haunts.

Called La Posada or the 'place of rest', the hotel has been the site of eerie events chronicled in the book that the author believes are connected to her great-great grandmother's residency in the building.

American Ghost looks at the life and death of Julia Staab and the story of the poor woman's unsettled spirit. A unique combination of frontier life, mental illness, ghost hunters and psychics as well as imagination and myth, this is surprisingly as entertaining a story as you will find about such disparate subjects.

The author of the critically acclaimed The Beekeeper's Lament, Nordhaus is able to take on a challenging story like this and its multiple themes and make it work. It is a difficult book to set aside once the narrative takes hold.

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