3 out of 5 stars.
I would like to thank Chelshire Inc. for allowing me an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an open and honest review.
What a touching, almost ‘coming of age’ story about a man who loses his wife and literal love of his life and has to learn how to continue living for their children’s sake. And what a gorgeous and historical setting? Obviously one the author knows well from the heart and soul put into the descriptions and general set up of the book.
I had been hoping for more of a supernatural theme from the mention of hauntings and a demon, but this book is more a mystery/thriller than a supernatural tale. Yes there are supernatural themes and indeed a haunting, but that is very mild in comparison to the stronger theme of love, loss and survival.
All the same it was a good read. I was a little put off by the formatting used in the ARC I read, but that didn’t affect my score. Though reading the spoken conversation when it began with – and ended with || was rather annoying. Fingers crossed that little glitch was fixed before final edit and publication.
I liked the setting, the bit of historical mystery behind the old house at Stillwell along with the heartache of loss. It wasn’t an overly gloomy and depressing book, but a good balance that helped keep it real and relatable. The only minor quibble I would have is how it all happened in a week and that the family – including teens and young child – seemed to go through the mourning process rather quickly and come out quite resilient on the other side. Not having experience that sort of situation myself, I’m not too sure how long it would take… but a week seemed a little too short.
Would I recommend this book to others? I would. It’s a nice bit of adult fiction with a touch of sadness, resilience and mystery and was good to see a male character be able to survive such a traumatic loss and keep going, kids and career in tacked.
Would I buy this book for myself? Truth be told, probably not. I’m not a huge fan of adult fiction and, as said, I had been hoping for a slightly more supernatural theme of ghosts and demons as they are more my thing. Yes there were ghosts and demons, but only very minor amounts as the plot was really more about loss and the healing process. So it was a sweet and enjoyable story, but not my usual cup of tea.
In summary: Well written, wonderfully described and a good read. Don’t be drawn in by the ghosts and demons and expect the supernatural. Accept it for what it says it is and enjoy it for being a good take of love, loss and survival.
Until next time,