As I've already said I'm not happy with version 1, it just doesn't do it for me. if I picked a book up with an opening like that I'm not sure that I would bother reading on.
So try again - version 2 (which mightn't have quite come out in the short excerpt below) will have Max 'hearing' Rosie and later his Mother and Sister talking to him. I want the reader to slowly realise that the conversations are only on his head - all the woman he loved are dead but his love for them isn't - he can bring Rosie back when ever he talks to her and later his Mother and Sister will come to him when he is least expecting them - wow might be tricky to write without being mawkish but it could be worth it.
And version 3 is basically version 2 but written in the first person. Max will be able to tell his story in his own words but I really like the ghost talking aspect in version 2 and would like Max to have the same conversations.
Pros and Cons
Version 1 is a non starter in my book
Version 2 could potentially be easier to write than version 3. I find wrtiting in the first person tricky, if I'm not careful it could sound more like me rather than Max talking
Version 3 would writing in the first person be too limiting? I need to be able to show Max as a multi-dimensional character; the frightened young boy in Poland, the angry young man who arrives in Liverpool swearing that no one will ever hurt him again even if it means he hurts them first, the family man who adores his wife and son, the ruthless business man who won't let anything stop him from making his business succeed and finally the old man who finds to his horror that he is having to relive his past.
So that's it; first person or third person - I think I need a cup of coffee and time to ponder - any comments will be gratefully recieved.