Ghost Songs begins its fragmented narrative with eighteen-year-old McBride in a psychiatric hospital, wracked with grief over the recent suicides of both her parents. To her terror she begins to see their literal ghosts, and must reconcile her family tragedy with an Irish Catholic faith. McBride traces her coming-of-age tale from New York to New Mexico and finally Ireland, where she finds peace and self-reinvention. She discusses her story of survival here with fellow author and poet Rita Gabis.
Around October, we tend to think of ghosts and hauntings as spooky fun, a glimpse into an unknown world after death. But the idea's true horror, like most truly horrifying things, comes from life. In her elegiac first memoir, Regina McBride delves deep into the psychospiritual explanations for a haunting, less concerned with whether or not specters are real than with why some see them in the first place.