Pharos by Alice Thompson


Alice Thompson

I'm not that fond of ghost stories in general and this one did nothing to convert me. It's an intriguing story though, with hints of hidden darkness which unfold towards the end. If you hang on in there then 'all will be revealed' as the saying goes. The whole story then takes on a new mystery and meaning when viewed in retrospect.


When the woman regained consciousness it quickly became evident that she had lost her memory. The expanse of the sea had wiped it clean. It was not a calm peace that she had been left with. She screamed in the night while the sea drowned her and all her past. She could not say what she was doing in the sea, where she was from or why she had been so far away from the land. She screamed for days as if she were trying to give birth to herself. Then she fell silent.

  • If He Lived by Jon Stephen Fink
  • Wringland by Sally Spedding

Books with similar mood


Adam Thirlwell

The Tryst

Monique Roffey

It's Fine By Me

Per Petterson

The Last Friend

Tahar Ben Jelloun


Per Petterson

Black Moses

Alain Mabanckou

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Neil Gaiman

Spilt Milk

Kopano Matlwa


Joyce Carol Oates

Under the Frangipani

Mia Couto

The Zigzag Way

Anita Desai

Stevenson Under the Palm Trees

Alberto Manguel

The Love Artist

Jane Alison

Ocean Sea

Alessandro Baricco

The Last of the Vostyachs

Diego Marani

The God Who Begat a Jackal

Nega Mezlekia

The Executioner's Art

David Fine

Istanbul Istanbul

Burhan Sönmez


Henrietta Rose-Innes

Madame Mephisto

A M Bakalar

Girl in a Garden

Lesley Chamberlain

As She Climbed Across the Table

Jonathan Lethem

The Night Buffalo

Guillermo Arriaga

The Remainder

Alia Trabucco Zerán

The Summer We Got Free

Mia McKenzie

The Shape of Water

Andrea Camilleri


Andrey Platonov


Eduardo Sguiglia

The Foundling

Agnes Desarthe

Crushed Mexican Spiders

Tibor Fischer

The Fire Gospel

Michel Faber


Don DeLillo

Ali and Nino

Kurban Said

The Earthquake Bird

Susanna Jones

Where We Once Belonged

Sia Figiel

On Tenderness Express

Maxim Jakubowski

The Lost Leader

Mick Imlah


Zoe Gilbert

Exit West

Mohsin Hamid

The Devil's Workshop

Jáchym Topol

The Existential Detective

Alice Thompson

Villa Pacifica

Kapka Kassabova

The Hellhound Sample

Charles Shaar Murray

The Last Warner Woman

Kei Miller

Equations of Life

Simon Morden

The Reverse Side of Life

Lee Seung-U

Crawling at Night

Nani Power

The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches

Gaetan Soucy

A Cowrie of Hope

Binwell Sinyangwe