Picking up her pace, Frances saw a woman in the shadowy depths of the garden. She wore a wide hat and a trailing pink dress; a white hand emerged from her sleeve. There came upon Frances a sensation that sometimes overtook her when she was looking at a painting: space was foreshortened, time stilled.
Frances and her partner Charlie have recently moved to Sydney. As she battles a sense of displacement, Frances finds pleasure in her daily walks with her rescue dog, Rod, who looks fearsome but is terrified of strangers. On a favourite stretch of her walk, Frances starts to glimpse a woman in a long dress, accompanied by a white dog. There is something surreal about what she sees, and she can’t help thinking the figure is ghostly.
Springtime is an intriguing little story – a short novella exploring the supernatural as well as themes of displacement, family and relationships. Billed as a ghost story, and packaged in a charming small hardcover format with a slip case, it is a book that is a delight to hold and to read.
Springtime: A Ghost Story, by Michelle De Krester
Allen & Unwin, 2014
Available from good bookstores and online.