Bantam, 2011 (2011)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
is a light but engrossing contemporary tale with a gothic feel to it, and a theme of reincarnation running through the plotline. It begins with a journey for the narrator and her cat Mitsy, followed by a car crash in a New England blizzard, in which our heroine escapes the vehicle (with nothing but Mitsy in her carrier, not even a winter coat) just before it plunges into a fast-flowing river.
he awakens with no memory, but feeling that the man, who has found her and is carrying her, is her '
soul mate, the other half - the better half - of me.
' She loses consciousness again and awakens to a golden-haired child telling her, '
Amber said you'd come.
' It turns out that the child, Jadie, has cystic fibrosis, and these are the first words she's spoken since her sister Amber died two years before. The amnesiac meets Jadie's rather hostile caretaker, Tara, and her father, Vincent James. The mother, Cheryl, apparently walked out, unable to cope, a few weeks after Amber's death.
neighboring farmer, Adam, shows up with Mitsy in her cat carrier. The narrator (whom they agree to call Kate) meets Vincent's neighbor Maria, who believes in ghosts and introduces a mystery surrounding Cheryl's disappearance. Then Tara's older brother Colin arrives. A hypnotherapist, he offers to work with Kate. Doing so, they uncover surprising memories of previous lives. The snowstorm persisting and power out at Vincent's home, Kate, Jadie, Tara and Colin spend time at Adam's farm. But Kate learns that some of Colin's previous patients died
under suspicious circumstances
- can she trust him?
incent is very grateful to Kate for causing Jadie to talk again. Kate felt a strong connection when he carried her out of the snowstorm, but she also finds Adam attractive. Readers wonder how this will be resolved and also how Kate's past and present lives are linked. Then an abandoned car and a body are found ... but don't worry.
is a sweet story, with a good share of surprises, but it does have a happy - and satisfying - ending.
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