The Greatcoat, By Helen Dunmore

An illustrious new classic joins the ghostly cavalcade

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The Independent Culture

In her Afterword, Dunmore says that her inspirations for this ghost story were The Turn of the Screw and Tom's Midnight Garden, stories which deal with the past's imprint upon the present. Her own story stands comparison with those illustrious models.

Isabel Carey, a young woman newly married to a GP in east Yorkshire, living in chilly rented accommodation with a weird and disagreeable landlady, finds an old RAF greatcoat which belonged to a bomber pilot, and takes to sleeping beneath it. One day when her husband is out and she is taking a nap under the greatcoat, there is a tapping at the window....

A genuinely eerie story in which both the living and the dead are equally real.