Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month and have no idea what is currently going on in the world, you’ve probably thought about the Coronavirus at least once today. Covid-19 is frequently being brought to our attention through news and social media outlets, socially distant interactions with friends and relatives, and just by virtue of the fact that we are staying at home instead of going out to work or school. With so much focus on the current global pandemic, we may be finding it difficult to cope with the way in which our minds are being constantly reminded about the threat of the virus. Personally, I have reached a point where I am having to limit my daily exposure to social media, due to the frequency of virus-related tweets.
Reading can be, and certainly is for me, a very welcome distraction from reality. This week I’ve found myself frequently turning to books as much for escapism as for entertainment. One of my favorites, which I made a point to re-read this week, is The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, by R. A. Dick.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is about a woman named Lucy Muir, who has recently become a widow after the sudden death of her husband. When she has to sell their home, Mrs. Muir decides to take her two children to live by the sea, in a town called Whitecliff. Her search for a new home leads her to Gull Cottage, which has been unoccupied for years, due to the fact that it is haunted. Mrs. Muir quickly falls in love with the house and is determined to live there with her children, despite its ghostly occupant, a sea captain by the name of Daniel Gregg. While Captain Gregg initially wants Mrs. Muir to leave his house, he eventually relents, on the condition that she buy the house (rather than rent it) and leave it to be used as a home for sea captains in her will.
I’ve loved this book ever since the first time I read it as a teenager. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a delightful story about love and new beginnings, and it was just the sort of book that I needed to spend time with this week.
Since its publication back in 1945, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir has been made into both a movie and a television series. While I have not had the opportunity to see the television series, I am a massive fan of the movie, which stars Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, and George Sanders. If you watch the movie, you will most likely recognize George Sanders’s voice; Sanders played Shere Khan in Disney’s animated version of The Jungle Book.
I actually saw the movie long before my first reading of the novel. I’ve been a fan of old black-and-white films for a long time, and originally watched the movie version of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir either on AMC or TCM back when I was in middle school. Since then, I’ve owned copies of the movie on both VHS and DVD, and I’ve easily watched it more than 20 times. The movie is somewhat different than the book, but this is one of the few times when I can honestly say the differences between the two don’t really matter. The movie is a wonderful representation of the original story, and is a great “comfort movie” to watch when you are feeling down.
If you’re looking for a great story to distract you for a while, I highly recommend The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with the novel (and/or the movie) and its characters just like I did.