A Reunion of Ghosts (Compact Disc)
April 2015 Indie Next List
“'The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations.' These are the words that the Alter sisters live by and the reason they have chosen to die at their own hands. Lady, Vee, and Delph Alter have written a suicide note that turns out to be a family history. The sisters are descendants of Lenz, a chemist and the creator of the poison gas that was first used in WWI, and his wife, Iris, the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry and the first in the family to commit suicide. A Reunion of Ghosts is a captivating chronicle of a family and the weight of consequences that grow heavier with time.”
— Jennifer Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
A compulsively readable literary masterpiece, A Reunion of Ghosts is the shared confessional of three sisters who have decided to kill themselves at the end of the twentieth century, honoring the dark legacy that has haunted their extraordinary family for decades.How do three sisters write a single suicide note?In the waning days of 1999, the Alter sisters--Lady, Vee, and Delph--finalize their plans to end their lives. Their reasons are not theirs alone; they are the last in a long line of Alters who have killed themselves, beginning with their great-grandmother, the wife of a Jewish Nobel Prize-winning chemist who developed the first poison gas used in World War I and the lethal agent used in Third Reich gas chambers. The chemist himself, their son Richard, and Richard's children all followed suit.The childless sisters also define themselves by their own bad luck. Lady, the oldest, never really resumed living after her divorce. Vee is facing cancer's return. And Delph, the youngest, is resigned to a spinster's life of stifled dreams. But despite their pain they love each other fiercely, and share a darkly brilliant sense of humor.As they gather in the ancestral Upper West Side apartment to close the circle of the Alter curse, an epic story about four generations of one family--inspired in part by the troubled life of German-Jewish Fritz Haber, Nobel Prize winner and inventor of chlorine gas--unfolds. A Reunion of Ghosts is a magnificent tale of fate and blood, sin and absolution; partly a memoir of sisters unified by a singular burden, partly an unflinching eulogy of those who have gone before, and above all a profound commentary on the events of the twentieth century.