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Song Yan is starting to realize that she made the wrong choice when she abandoned her training as a concert pianist to marry her milquetoast husband, Bowen. His disinterest in having children and the arrival of his unfriendly mother, whom Song Yan is often left to care for while Bowen travels for work, have made their home a lonely place. This conventional enough domestic malaise fuels the sophomore novel by Braised Pork author An Yu. Then things take a turn for the surreal as mushrooms—edible, poison, possibly psychedelic—disrupt both Song Yan’s waking and dream lives. Reality and hallucinations blur, sending her on a journey to confront the apparition of her squandered talent. Trippy as Ghost Music can be, Yu’s spare prose grounds the spectral story in the recognizable psyche of a young woman yearning to start over. —Judy Berman

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