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Monday, April 20, 2015

Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island

Believe it or not, even as a New Yorker, I have only been to Long Island once and it was for a wedding so I don't remember much other than a really long drive. So while on vacation this summer I picked up Michael Phillip Cash's Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island to get in the visit-mood.

Dealing with his wife's death has been life-changing, and almost impossible for Paul. They have been together since they were children, married young, and had three of their own. Paul knows, though, that he has to get back to work ASAP as a realtor--and an old friend's house, Stillwell Manor, may be the answer to his prayers. The only problem is it may be haunted, and the haunting somehow involves his wife who has yet to cross over to the other side, spiritually speaking.

This was a fun book for beach reading. It was short enough that I could finish it in one setting and not so heavy that I couldn't enjoy it while staring at the ocean--my definition of a great beach read. I found the character development to be strong in this book, particularly that of Paul and his journey through denial to becoming a (partial) believer. He starts out as completely feeling like he's going crazy, because what sane person really believes in ghosts? By the time you get to the end of this book, you may very well also. Some things are just unexplainable.

The story was engaging as well. I loved the scenes of Paul with his three young children, trying to deal with life after the loss of his partner and the mother of his children. It wasn't just his loss, but also that of a mother to her children. The house coordinator and maker of dinner, the soother and the to-bed-putter and the homework-supervisor. Learning to live life without your better half is more than just the aching pain of loss; it's also a complete loss of life structure. These were the strongest scenes in the book in my opinion. They felt raw and honest, and it was how I preferred to the character of Paul.

Hard copy for purchase below.

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