Our God’s Cycle Fiction: Mystery Gottheim is a sort of mid-Autumn night’s dream, taking place all in one night, a night of full moon; but the story and landscape are sometimes troubled under the burden of soot, falling ash, and drizzle—outpouring of a tire fire which has created its own weather.
Many of its characters become lost and disoriented in the woods and on the mountain slopes, some with loving partners. There are apparitions and some scattered bones of humans in an old deserted cemetery. A road appears to some and not to others, a well in a cellar falls to an abyss, a carriage house hides a mysterious vehicle.
But, as in any good story, these happenings are not where the true surprises lie. Truth-in-suspense is reserved for life-disturbing spiritual encounter, of the kind that we experience when facing ourselves darkly. Mystery Gottheim is part of a cycle of stories, the second theme of which is New England Gothic; set in the fictional town of Gottheim, Maine. Several of these books have been read by area residents who find the novels instinct with the region.
In fact, I ransacked John Greenleaf Whittier’s Supernaturalism of New England for this one.