Ghost Mountain by Rónán Hession

A mysterious mountain appears as a backdrop to an intriguing cast of characters in Rónán Hession's rich and warm third novel

Book Review by Jo Higgs | 20 May 2024
  • Ghost Mountain by Rónán Hession
Book title: Ghost Mountain
Author: Rónán Hession

Rónán Hession’s Leonard and Hungry Paul and Panenka blend intrigue and comfort in a way few works of fiction can. His third novel Ghost Mountain, published by Bluemoose Books, runs with this composite, and pushes it further and further with each paragraph. 

In an unnamed place brimming with odd individuals, a mountain appears, sparking the curiosity of those in its vicinity. In theory the geological appearance known as ‘ghost mountain’ is a dormant and gentle entity, but it proves to be the setting of many happenings, tragic and touching. The cast of characters expands with each section, but never beyond the means or needs of the novel, and with each new face is a new quirk to endear them to us. Quirks are, alongside several recurring themes, the currency of Hession’s charming stories: an otherwise benevolent man who throws bricks through windows; a man whose estrangement from his father has caused his avowed abandonment of metaphors; a girl who adores the phrase ‘shit in a bag’. 

Ghost Mountain is the richest and grandest of Hession’s works, yet remains firmly in the bracket of warm and quiet novels of his former works. Death after death can do nothing to detract from page after page of delight. The novel makes a motif out of summing itself up in the most succinct and accurate of ways: Ghost Mountain was Ghost Mountain. 

Bluemoose Books, 23 May