#Jessamine @ShaniStruthers @crookedcatpublishing #paranormal #romance #ghost #blog #review #read2018
-The dead of night, Jess, I wish they’d leave me alone.- Jessamin Wade’s husband is dead – a death she feels wholly responsible for. As a way of coping with her grief, she keeps him ‘alive’ in her imagination – talking to him everyday, laughing with him, remembering the good times they had together. She thinks she will ‘hear’ him better if she goes somewhere quieter, away from the hustle and bustle of her hometown, Brighton. Her destination is Glenelk in the Highlands of Scotland, a region her grandfather hailed from and the subject of a much-loved painting from her childhood. Arriving in the village late at night, it is a bleak and forbidding place. However, the house she is renting – Skye Croft – is warm and welcoming. Quickly she meets the locals. Her landlord, Fionnlagh Maccaillin, is an ex-army man with obvious and not so obvious injuries. Maggie, who runs the village shop, is also an enigma, startling her with her strange ‘insights’. But it is Stan she instantly connects with. Maccaillin’s grandfather and a frail, old man, he is grief-stricken from the recent loss of his beloved Beth. All four are caught in the past. All four are unable to let go. Their lives entwining in mysterious ways, can they help each other to move on or will they always belong to the ghosts that haunt them? From the author of the bestselling The Haunting of Highdown Hall.
The thoughts of VeilysReviews:
It’s no secret to any of you that I am a huge fan of Shani Struthers. To my deep shame, this is an author I have only just discovered. However, now I’ve started i’m hyngry for more. After reading all of the Psychic Surveys series, I was excited about this one as it’s a standalone, and promised something completely different. So when I got the opportunity to listen on audible, I did.
The thought that stays with me after finishing the book is brooding. The whole book from the cover, to the highlands of Scotland, to the characters themselves, all just scream brooding. In a good way obviously.
Jess has lost her husband James in a car accident and is devastated. He was the love of her life, and she doesn’t know how to go on without him. So she doesn’t. She starts talking to James, asking him for advice, discussing her plans with him, everything. She can’t bear to stay where she is, living her old life, seeing the same things day in day out and not have James by her side. So, much to the chagrin of family & friends, Jessamine moves to the Highlands of Scotland. Taking inspiration for the move from a painting her Grandfather had.
Once safely ensconced in her new home, Jess takes her time in meeting the locals. It doesn’t take long to make new friends. All the while, Jess is still talking to James. As the story unfolds we are privy too a whole host of emotions. With this story I found the sense of loss ran deep through all of the characters. Each and everyone had lost something of themselves or someone. From this stemmed the feeling of guilt. Deeply intertwined and playing a major part in this was the emotion of love. The author shows as this story unfolds, that it’s extremely difficult to separate your feelings and emotions, how rarely you can have a single feeling or emotion without another being joined to it. It’s a well paced storyline, no big surprises jumping out at you, rather a steady tale of the characters stories unfolding with the end result of the reader saying, Aahhh, yes! It all makes sense now.
As we return to the characters themselves, Shani has written some excellent, strong & believeably flawed people into it. As a result, we are given characters that as a reader, you can feel a connection with and relate too. A must in a story like this, where you get so drawn in with the emotional side, you feel invested in them as people. We are given a different piece of them as the story unfolds, snippets at a time that come together at the end to make the whole thing come together. The author shows such a descriptive prowess in this book when telling us about the Lochs and mountains, that they, along with the eerie atmosphere are almost like a character in themselves! Always there, always watching, the backdrop to everyones lives. Oh, what they have seen and the secrets they hold.
So what we ultimately have here, is a haunting tale of love & loss. Do coincidences happen or does fate play a part? How long can you keep a secret and at what cost? How one moment, one decision can change the course your life will take for ever. A beautifully written atmospheric novel that draws you and at times is so emotionally charged, it makes your heart race, palms sticky and will leave you with a silent tear or two.
As I listened to this on audible, I need to just tell you how good the narrator is! Toni Frutin brings this fabulous story to life. She has such a clear soft voice, it has an almost calming effect, which makes those emotional points all the more poignant. It’s a 10 hour listen, which just flies by! I finished it in two days, which is almost unheard of for me, as I don’t always get that time. For this though, I found myself making the time.
Goodreads rating: 4/5