Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

Review: THE AFTER HOUSE by Michael Phillip Cash


I pulled this ghost story from Net Galley as I thought it looked intriguing. The main character is a young mother who is trying to rebuild her life after a terrible divorce from an abusive husband. She gets a place on Long Island not far from her parents, but the historic cottage comes with the ghost of a sea-captain. Remy is trying to start a new life, make new friends, work, be a mom, and she also starts up a romance with a local historian who has all sorts of information about the house and its past occupants. Then in the middle of all this, someone is trying to kill her.

This one is a bit tough for me to review as I really liked some parts of it and was confused by others. I liked the main premise: starting over, new life, “you can do it!” theme. I liked the chapters covering the past with the sea captain’s life. I had known of Nantucket and New Bedford as centers for whaling, but I didn’t realize that whalers went from Long Island, too. I would have enjoyed even more of the past with historical facts, etc.

Here’s what I struggled with: Remy’s parents, especially her father, were incredibly over-protective. They treated her like she was 15 not in her thirties. Perhaps there are parents like that out there, but it seemed odd to me that they were treating their adult daughter who has a daughter of her own like she was a teenager. They also kept saying terrible things about her ex-husband (e.g. “I never liked that guy” etc)  which seemed juvenile and a little unrealistic to me. Then the ghost was a bit confusing — on one hand he was kind of scary, but then that didn’t work well so he turned nice. It almost seemed like the poor ghost was having an identity crisis. Added onto this were two additional ghosts or spirits or angels or something. To be honest, when they weren’t in the story (as observers) I’d forget they were even there, then a chapter would pop up with them discussing what they were looking at in terms of humans and sea-captain ghost. I’m not sure what their role was as it seemed like one was earning her wings, so to speak — maybe help get the sea captain to eternal rest after all these years? I don’t know.

Anyhow, I think this is one of those books that most will either like or not finish. I finished it but am mixed in how much I liked it.

You can see it on Amazon where I am an Associate and thanks, Net Galley, for my copy!:

The After House

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A while ago (longer than I care to admit), I received a download of Laura Shofer’s novel, THE FINGERPRINT OF DESTINY, from her. Due to an odd issue with my Kindle (where it shuffled my hundreds of novels!) I “lost” it and only recently rediscovered it. This novel has a little bit of something for everyone and I really enjoyed reading it!

THE FINGERPRINT OF DESTINY starts with a fire (arson) with deaths involved in the Hope’s Point area of Long Island. Ellie Sinclair goes to cover the fire (which isn’t the first that has occurred in this area of late) for her newspaper and discovers that her estranged mother is among the victims. This starts a series of events where Ellie digs to find the truth, but also digs up old emotions, an old romance,  and memories of her “crazy” mother as she was growing up and their complicated relationship. Ellie is scrappy and tough, though somewhat dysfunctional and has a drinking problem. Add in some historical passages tracing Ellie’s Venezuelan heritage and the “fingerprint of destiny”, a few tough Latino gangs, a mystery, and some supernatural thrills and you’ve got the makings for this story!

I enjoyed reading this novel, the first for Ms. Shofer, and found it engrossing and well-written. I think it has such a variety of happenings that many will find it and its “mash-up genre” appealing!

You can see it on Amazon where it is available for Kindle (and where I am an Associate). As of today is it only $2.99!

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