Perfect Circle, Sean Stewart.
Reminded me a lot of a Barbara Kingsolver book, except with a male protagonist and ghosts. A slacker misfit, haunted by his past (get it?), wanders around his hometown and the ruins of his life, reminiscing about all the mistakes and missed chances that lead to his sorry state. He’s unable to conceive of a future or a way to get out of his rut, until the interaction between his living and dead family members reaches critical mass and sets him on a path towards change and growth. Which all sounds serious and dull, but it’s written in a wry casual voice, and has ghosthunting, fistfights, and commentary on early 80’s music. Which reminds me, I have to listen to Murmur again.
It’s interesting that Amazon is offering this book paired with “Air”. At first I thought it was a strange pairing, but now that I think about it, the books complement each other well. Perfect Circle is about a character stuck in his past, while Air is about a character trapped in the future. Mae tirelessly plans for an inevitable change that’s coming too quickly, while DK desperately needs change but can’t summon the will to act.
Both characters have ghosts who guide them, and both end up reconstructing a new family out of the remains of families whose destruction they have been party to. And both characters use the internet to solve problems for their relatives. Yay interweb!