Genre: Gothic/Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Year: 2019
Purchase and Synopsis:
My Rating: 5 stars
This book. . . Wow.
I just want to insert here that if you are so inclined to listen to music while you read, I would highly recommend pairing this book with a moody cup of black tea or bitter coffee and the album, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat’. #mood.
I will try to make my thoughts somewhat cohesive, but this book for me was more about how it made me feel than anything else.
There is a grit to it, the way the feelings are almost a tangible thing that you can touch. It was almost as if I could feel the emotions coiling around my fingers if I just reached out my hand to touch them. The gothic, dark, broody, shivers-down-your-spine vibes were not a dark presence that was undesirable, but they were just a soft, ethereal feeling that gave the book an essence of the inspired.
This is my first experience reading a book by Jamie Jo Wright, and after this one tiny taste, she forever has my admiration. Her words are purposeful, carefully chosen gems from a creek bed full of stones. It was as if she chose each one, examined it thoroughly and polished it to perfection before she set it into her sentences. Every sentence left me with a feeling of understanding and a connection with the characters that I haven’t experienced for quite some time while reading.
The stunning settings, moods, and surroundings of each storyline captured my attention and of course, this history buff loved the historical timeline. The high stakes of the story also made this book unforgettable in so many ways. There was never a moment that I felt like “meh, I don’t want to finish this”. It was stunning beauty from beginning to end.
Another thing about this book that is going to be hard for me to explain, but is there all the same and probably a very strong reason for the definite attachment to the story and characters. . . Was the emotions, motivation, and storyline of the characters. Heidi herself and the family issues that she deals with was very real to me in so many ways that I sometimes had goosebumps and very real feelings and emotions attached to them. From the sympathy and compassion I felt towards Heidi, the anger towards others who treated her a certain way, and a melancholic sadness over the way her life was formed and the difficult relationships that made up her family had me feeling near tears so many times.
And let’s not forget the very real and strong storyline of mental illness that threaded through this book like a gold thread, sometimes bright, other times subtle, but always there to color the story and make it for what it is. A spectacular, emotionful and heartbreakingly compassionate view of the struggle of our society. She handled the perceptions, realities, and reality of mental illness in such a beautiful way that all I could do was applaud with a feeling of awe and appreciation for a job well done.
In short, this is a stunning piece that any would do well to read. It is something that will stick with you and a book that I feel blessed to own and will treasure on my shelf.
“That while the past- the consequences of the past – might have a dire effect on me, it still doesn’t change who I am. We weren’t created to find our identity in life. We were created to discover our Creator. In doing so, our identity is defined.” ~ Simeon Coyle, The Curse of Misty Wayfair.
And for those who were curious, this “ghost story” had no real “ghost”. Just so you know.
Have you read this book yet? Are you going to? Say yes!
By God’s Grace,