Recently I came into some money. Not a lot of money, mind you, but about $10. There was one stipulation on the money… It had to be used on Amazon to buy books. SUCH a hardship. But actually when you review as much as I do, you rarely get time for “pleasure reading”. So deciding exactly how to spend that $10 was harder than you might think. I looked at book after book, author after author, but just couldn’t pull the trigger. Then a thought hit me, there is one author whose work I have enjoyed in the past, whom I respect greatly, and whom does not get the recognition he deserves. It was an easy decision to buy the rest of his available back list (okay, so I over spent my $10 a bit… don’t judge me). I then asked said author which story I should read first. His answer is the book featured below.
Author: Theo Fenraven
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Manhattan-based Mikal Gray rents a summer getaway and discovers there’s already someone in residence: a very persistent ghost. His friend, Alice, sends help in the form of a sexy ghost hunter named Seth. Together, they unravel the mystery behind the haunting and discover the heart always searches for what it needs…and often finds it.
First, let me start off by saying, I am not a huge fan of ghost stories. It is not that I am creeped out by them; the opposite is true, in fact. I do not know what it is about the horror genre that has me rolling my eyes and saying “is it over yet?”. When I started A Silence Kept, I was only going to read a chapter or two and then go to sleep… well, it is now 2:30 am, and I am up writing a review. I finished the book a few hours ago, but it would not let go of me. I tried to read another book for a while, yet here I sit with everyone else in my house asleep.
For me, it is not the “horror” aspect that has me up well past my bedtime. I was not closing my eyes and seeing ghosts jumping out from dark corners. I was not afraid to turn off the light (I, in fact, read the book in the dark). In all honesty, I am not completely sure WHY this book grabbed me so thoroughly. I liked Mikal well enough. I felt badly for him because of his dick of an ex. Seth was an interesting enough guy. He is a trust-fund baby with a penchant for ghost hunting who rides a motorcycle. Together they make an interesting couple. I ended the book wanting to know what was next for them as a couple and separately. But none of those are enough to keep me up formulating reviews in my head at 2am. In the end, I think what got me was the prose itself, the setting, and the ghost (but not how you think).
Let’s start off with the setting. It is a little farm house in rural New York where technology does not reach. It is a place meant to take you away from your problems. It is well described, and makes me want to go there. It makes me want to have a little place just like it. For a self-proclaimed city girl, that is saying something.
We lingered on the porch with our wine, watching the light go. Frog song echoed in the woods and bats swooped across the yard. Overhead, stars shone and a three-quarters full moon spilled silver light across the landscape.
The prose… I will let Fenraven’s words speak for him on this point. There are so many passages I could choose.
We sat for a while in what was now full darkness, neither of us getting up to turn on lights, either inside or out. His silent presence was soothing, and I did not want the evening to end. But time doesn’t care; it moved on relentlessly, and it was time to say good night.
Finally, let us talk about the ghost. Thomas wasn’t a scary ghost bent on revenge. He was a sad ghost that just wanted someone to give a damn. He was the picture of what so many men and women faced in the past, and in the present in many parts of the world, simply because of how they were made. Thomas’ story got me thinking, as Fenraven so often does. So many questions are brought on by the story of just how Thomas, a once prominent member of society, died in obscurity and came to haunt his dwelling. I am not talking about the actual how’s of the story, the author more than sufficiently shows the reader the horror that was the end of Thomas’ life. I am talking about the ramifications of the decisions that led to that end. I am talking about the message of where deprivation, ignorance, and hate can lead. I am talking about views that are not so far in the past as we would like to believe.
If you like ghost stories, or if you do not, I would recommend this book. If you like beautifully written prose and rich descriptions, I would recommend this book. If you like your stories to make you think, I would recommend this book. If you are looking for a shallow roll in the hay, well there is hay involved…
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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