“Life is Seeds”- Ezra in Searching for Lincoln’s Ghost
It is still a surprise to me when thinking about the events that led to discovering a soul-searing book called Searching for Lincoln’s Ghost written by
When I came across Lincoln’s Ghost I was stuck by the oddity of the name and also the gloomy picture of Lincoln on its cover. Since Lincoln remained as an intriguing figure in the pages of history while he was alive and even more so after his death, I decided to take a chance. Boy, am I glad I read it? I must say that this book is one of the most intellectually enlightening and breathtakingly inspiring literary creation that I have read in a long time.
A bit about the Author: Barbara J. Dzikowski
Searching for Lincoln’s Ghost is Barbara J. Dzikowski’s first ever novel. Her studies in Philosophy and Counseling in University fueled Barbara’s desire to create a fiction which closely analyses the matters of the human heart and its drive in searching for love and the meanings it bears to one’s life. Barbara’s attention to details comes alive when she weaves the tale of a little girl in a small town of Castalia, Indiana and the society wherein her vibrant spirits are trapped due to its brutal tolerance to racism and segregation. Barbara is currently working on her second novel which runs along the lines of more history and borders on two families fighting with changes and uncertainties of 1960’s with a special focus on the cataclysmic year of 1968.
Searching for Lincoln’s Ghost- A Review
The story is narrated from the perspective of a sixth-grader little girl named Andrea Powell. Her parents are dead and Andi lives with her Grand Mom. Andi’s story stretches out in front of the reader as a flash back that starts from the time she was a woman of fifty and from the time she reads the obituary news of the first boy she ever loved on her days in grade six, John Malone. John’s death touches Andi’s heart deeply and her memories take her back to 1966-67 where she meets John for the first time and fall in love. She was only eleven then.
Andi’s school was named after Abraham Lincoln and it is believed at the time that Lincoln’s ghost haunted the school where it was habitual for him to appear to sixth graders on several occasions. In 1966, Andi starts the most senior grade at the Lincoln School and is excited about the prospect- not because she is now a senior, a sixth grader but because she now has a chance to meet Lincoln’s ghost to whom she could finally ask some questions which is tearing her apart for ages-
Is there Life after Death?
What happens after one die?
Yes, these are not normal questions that a sixth grader would ask. Andi thinks about death more often for an eleven year old. After her parent’s death in a car-accident, Grand Mom took Andi under her wings. Grand Mom’s obsession with death fueled Andi’s quest and determination in finding out about the possibilities of life after death.
Lincoln School over the years has produced two sixth graders who claimed to have seen Lincoln’s ghost on occasions. And this year, Andi fervently hope that she will be blessed with a chance to see Lincoln. While she waits for this meeting to happen, John Malone, a new boy at school starts messing with Andi’s head and she is ever curious to find out the dark secret John Malone is harboring in his every waking moment.
Racism and segregation is in full swing in this era and there are invisible forbidden lines and boundaries to walk on with caution. Characters of Bertha Riggs, Keely and Bernard personalize various aspects of isolation, fear and depression, bullying and racial intolerance.
On Andi’s continuous efforts to get a glimpse of Lincoln’s ghost to question him upon the possibilities of Life after Death, she stumbles on an unlikely friend- a bait shop-owner named Ezra. Life was never the same for her after.
It is Ezra who taught her that nothing is born from nothing.
“Every story has a seed of a beginning, usually something so small and unremarkable that the chain of events being birthed into a motion cannot be discerned until long after the story has taken shape and form”.-Chapter 1, Searching for Lincoln’s Ghost
Ezra is also the one (Apart from Abraham Lincoln) who has given Andi reasons to believe that there is indeed life after death. Life goes on uninterrupted after the body dies and the soul leaves from its physical form. Ezra answers all her questions patiently and each day Andi’s belief and faith in this is reinforced through Ezra’s thought provoking words.
“In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond. And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow, your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, little girl, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity”
But did the era in which Andi lived set the stage for her coming-of-age as one would have imagined? Did this little girl finally found the answers that she was looking for which helped her to align her perspectives on life- for the better or worse? Did Andi win over the heart of John Malone eventually or he broke her heart? Did the Author while indulging in the mystical folklore of Lincoln’s ghost, succeeded in relating an everlasting tale of the power of love and survival?
How is it possible that the actions of one can profoundly affect the actions of another? Read the book, it is worth your time!