Saturday, July 21, 2012

After Life by Rhian Ellis - Mediums, Psychics and Spirtiualism

After Life
Author Rhian Ellis
"First, I had to get his body into the boat". This ominous opening begins a tale of secrets and lies, visions, and hovering spirits. At its center is Naomi Ash, a young woman who has come of age on the frigid banks of a western New York lake community called Train Line. Here she grows up and falls in love in a town where mediums, spiritualists, and professional clairvoyants hold "psychic fairs" to help make ends meet. When the skeleton of Peter, Naomi's ex-lover, surfaces, the mystery of his death must be uncovered. In the process, Naomi, now a clairvoyant herself, unveils a world where the secrets of the dead cannot stay buried and where her past must confront her precarious present.
Review: After Life holds the promise of a mystery delving into the world of spiritualism. If you’re looking for a philosophical journey and deeply poignant read, this book will please. Set in a unique town where secrets are kept, insight into the future occurs, and regrets of the past lurk in an interesting tale about a girl lost, longing for what she believes before finding and facing her reality. Are her abilities and those around her truly psychic or just a highly developed sense of observation mix with chance prediction? The book opens with the death of Peter and travels backwards in order to move forward. What After Life lacks is the anticipation usually found in a mystery, death novel. I was longing for a twist. Although, the story is character driven, and rich in detail, the mystery is a little dry due to the amount of introspective examination by the narrator. What the book does well is thematically weave the belief of death, what the after life is, what it is to live and die and transcend on various levels. Without giving away the ending, I thought Naomi's awakening and life after her emotional death was clever and touching.  
tiny blue diamondtiny blue diamondtiny blue diamond 1/2 star
*ARC provided by Amazon Encore reprint courtesy of Amazon Vine

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