More Than Just a Ghost

By Jill Koenigsdorf
MacAdam Cage 24.00 380 pages

In her debut novel, Jill Koenigsdorf tells the story of Phoebe Rosen, a middle-aged artist struggling financially and emotionally, and in danger of losing her beloved home. The ghost of Marc Chagall appears on a mission to help her, and influences small changes within Phoebe’s life, eventually pushing her to accept a trip through France. Once there, the mission takes shape to uncover several of Chagall’s paintings that went missing through both World Wars, including one that was intended for Phoebe herself, and could rescue her from her financial burdens.

The characters are vibrant, quirky and relatable, but throughout, Koenigsdorf asks the reader to accept things far more implausible than the presence of ghosts. Several characters exist solely to explain the strife of Phoebe’s life, as well as seamlessly bridging her to the next step in the plot, while others simply uncover character secrets such as the sisters who are omnipotent witches. Despite the stretches and uneven pacing, the story of Phoebe and the Ghost of Chagall is captivating and inspiring, giving the reader insight into the life and history of Chagall and other great artists of his era, and fosters an appreciation for the beauty of fine art.

Reviewed By Deina Carbonara

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