Memory Bound by A. R. Clayton is an unusual ghost story in that the reader eventually will have to decide who or what the ghost is (are?). They might be the apparitions that appear in different degrees of visibility and physical solidity to Anne, main character. The ghostly entity might by Myron Manor itself. The ghosts might be in the mind of Anne, or they might be an additional group of spirits added to the spirits that inhabit Myron Manor. Anne has always had her own set of ghosts to deal with. Some called her condition schizophrenia, and Anne had no problem with that. She accepted the two girls who appeared as they sang to her. Other vaguely solid figures would sometimes appear and give her directions. Because no one else could see the figures, Anne accepted her madness and dealt rationally with the fact that she would be under long term care for a long time. Since she was able to function in society, Anne pursued her goal of managing interactions with her ghosts in private. She wanted to be left alone.
Myron Manor was deserted, dilapidated, and located in a village whose residents were historically trapped in roles of servitude to original builders of Myron Manor and all the descendants of the patriarchs. Myron Manor builders had contributed all the good things the village had; a hospital, a library, parks, and events of goodwill that benefited villagers financially. The villagers expressed gratitude by ignoring the evil and criminal activities that went on in the Manor. Villagers disappeared, bodies were found, bodies were never found, and gossip replaced news as the truth. For generations, there was an acceptance of this status quo. Then Anne purchased Myron Manor and in concert with a local Historical Society began a series of renovations. Village resident ghosts, not the ones Anne brought with her, began a systematic terror campaign to encourage Anne to leave.
Several characters from the “real” world appear in attempts to aid Anne in dealing with mysterious events happening at Myron Manor. Deputy Sheriff Cho has empathy for Anne because of his grandmother, a Chinese traditionalist who communicates with the spirit world. Another police official, Deputy brown invests on and off duty time to help Anne resolve problems. Deputy Cho never actually saw hosts; he did not see who or what planted the bomb that blew up his patrol car. Deputy Brown believed and saw some of the ghosts, a real first in Anne’s experience. Anne had never had a human friend who witnessed her ethereal visitors.
As the story progresses, Anne will inhabit and be ruled by the supernatural world for greater lengths of time than that spent in the human world. Anne will have friends, perceive injustices, attempt to solve crimes, and, in the end, make a decision to fight back. How Anne does this and the results (or lack of them) she attains, make the story interesting. The language, understated humor, and veiled references to 2018 and 2019 current topics make this a worthwhile read.
Memory Bound is a five-star Amazon read because of its original approach to a scenario that deals with horror and accommodation to a form of mental illness. The novel sells for USD 5.99 but is available as a free read on Kindle Unlimited. The 160-page novel has no inappropriate language or contrived violence. The story is a good introduction for fans of all ages who like horror and the supernatural. I will read more by A. R. Clayton, as I find more works by the author. Memory Bound is the only novel I found on the author’s Amazon page.