The Ghost Keeper

The Ghost Keeper

by Natalie Morrill
  • english-from-canada
  • from-ontario
  • historical

A sweeping story of love, friendship, and betrayal spanning pre- and post-WWII Vienna, for readers of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.

In the years between the two World Wars, Josef Tobak builds a quiet life around his friendships, his beloved wife Anna, and his devotion to the old Jewish cemeteries of Vienna. Then comes the Anschluss in 1938, and Josef’s world is uprooted. His health disintegrates. His wife and child are forced to flee to China. His closest gentile friend joins the Nazi Party - and yet helps him escape to America. When the war ends, Josef returns to Vienna and tries to make sense of what remains - including his former Nazi friend, who, he discovers, protected Josef’s young female cousin throughout the War. Returning to his cemeteries and to a war-shattered Vienna, Josef finds himself beset among secrets, darkness, and apparent righteousness marred by private cruelty. As the truth is unearthed, Josef’s care for the dead takes on new meaning as he confronts his own role in healing both his devastated community and his deepest wounds.

The Ghost Keeper is a story about the terrible choices we make to survive and the powerful connections to the communities and friends that define us. Here is a finely accomplished novel that introduces an exciting new voice to our literary landscape.


Natalie Morrill, author

Natalie Morrill holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. Her fiction and poetry have been published in Canadian journals and included in the Journey Prize anthology. She lives in Ottawa, Canada.


  • How rare it is for a writer to hold our darkest days with tenderness. A graceful, haunting novel of family and friendship, sacrifice and betrayal. Morrill reminds us that compassion endures, even in the face of unspeakable tragedy. - Nancy Lee, author of The Age
  • Natalie Morrill has given readers an absorbing and nuanced story of endurance, friendship, betrayal, moral choices in harrowing times and the costs of survival. - Nancy Richler, author of The Imposter Bride
  • It is not often that a book seems necessary. For many, Natalie Morrill’s "The Ghost Keeper", a bold, brave, and riveting book, will prove itself required reading. Morrill’s story has the courage to address such essential questions as what is the nature of good? What is the nature of evil, forgiveness, faith? Readers will find a powerfully-wise book, its knowledge, as Morrill writes, ‘a lamp and a hunger.’ An astonishing, exquisitely-written work, this debut novel will challenge and move readers now and for generations to come. - Rhea Tregebov, critically-acclaimed author of The Knife-Sharpener’s Bell

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Cooke International



rights sold: English (Canada, HarperCollins Canada)

rights available: World

Additional Information

number of pages: 352

publication date: 05/22/2018

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: complete manuscript