By Lydia Millet
W. W. Norton & Company, Paperback, 9780393343458, 255pp.
Publication Date: November 5, 2012
Ghost Lights stars an IRS bureaucrat named Hal a man baffled by his wife's obsession with her young employer, T., and haunted by the accident that paralyzed his daughter, Casey. In a moment of drunken heroism, Hal embarks on a quest to find T. the protagonist of Lydia Millet's much-lauded novel How the Dead Dream who has vanished in a jungle. On his trip to Central America, Hal embroils himself in a surreal tropical adventure, descending into strange and unpredictable terrain (and an unexpected affair with a beguiling German woman). Ghost Lights is Millet at her best beautifully written, engaging, full of dead-on insights into the heartbreaking devotion of parenthood and the charismatic oddity of human behavior. The book draws us into a darkly humorous, sometimes off-kilter world where bonds of affection remain a reliable magnetic north. Ghost Lights is a startling, comic, and surprisingly philosophical story.