Ghosts take top billing in this perceptive and thoughtful fantasy tinged with horror. While Suzanne never much believed in her mother’s hoodoo teachings, a legacy of her Choctaw ancestry, she’s dealt with the spirits all of her life as a conduit and guide. Her journey parallels beautifully with Addy’s in that Addy wasn’t allowed much of an education in the hoodoo practiced by her grandmother, Mimi Jeanne. She, like Suzanne, had one foot in the spirit world and the other on Earth. Elegant details are painted with broad strokes, transporting readers to timelessly beautiful locations.
While the time jumps are, at first, jarring, their rhythm soon becomes clear, offering delicate layers of perspective. Chapters with Suzanne’s narration and contemporary perspectives are largely told using third person and present tense, while those in the 1940s favor past tense, which creates strikingly different moods. Sexual assault, violence against women, gaslighting and emotional abuse all make an appearance, but are sensitively handled.
Takeaway: Time-crossed novel of spirits, generational trauma, and two remarkable women.
Comparable Titles: Joyce Maynard’s The Bird Hotel, Jessica Dodge’s Misplaced Magic.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
5-Stars for this debut author's fantasy novel, offered by Kajori Sheryl Paul.