Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Seeing the Dead

Author:  Sheila Connolly
Genre:  Paranormal/History/Genealogy

Four Stars
Ever since her first ghostly sighting, Abby Kimball has been trying to unravel the mystery of her newly discovered ability. So when she sees the apparition of a Revolutionary War soldier in the middle of the town green—just days before the annual Patriot’s Day celebration, no less—she’s determined to figure out her connection to the man.

The ethereal soldier is not the only mystery in Abby’s life. She’s also trying to sort out her connection to Ned Newhall, the man who shares her ability and is playing a more serious romantic role in her life every day. But with plans for the celebration ramping up and her job becoming more chaotic by the minute, Abby’s finding it hard to catch her breath, much less come to grips with all the new turns her life has taken.

And when another eerie episode is followed by the appearance of a very curious young girl who seems wise beyond her years, Abby discovers she and Ned may have only scratched the surface of their special ability, and that Ned may hold the biggest surprise yet.


Abby Kimball sees ghosts.  She doesn't see all ghosts, only the ones she's somehow related to.  And she doesn't communicate with them, she can see them as they were in their lives, but they cannot see her.  It is as if she is watching an old movie.  What she can see, however, has been amplified by her relationship with her boyfriend Ned, with whom she shares a distant connection.  When the two of them hold hands, things become clearer and more visible to her.  That being said...

She lives in Concord, Massachusetts and the town is getting ready to celebrate Patriots' Day.  Abby works for a local museum and has recently discovered her 'ability.'  She has also figured out that Ned amplifies that ability.  While wanting to know more about her family tree, she is taking the opportunity to find out about a relative who participated in the Revolutionary War, Henry Perry.  She enlists Ned's help to find out the deeper connection, and what this means to her, and to them collectively.

Then, when she discovers that her employer's daughter Ellie can also see ghosts, and knows Abby can, too, her new life, of which she has just begun to put together, is slowly starting to come unraveled, and Abby must decide what is important to her and what can be discarded.

I wasn't sure how to take this book at first.  I was aware of the plot, but I thought the beginning moved a bit slow for me.  For one thing, I'm not interested at all in the Revolutionary War.  Which isn't to say I'm not interested in history, because I am deeply interested in the Civil War.  I guess I just haven't decided to go that far back yet!  At any rate, in the beginning there is a lot about Abby's ancestors and the revolutionary war, and I found myself becoming bored with it all, hence the four stars instead of five.

But in the second half of the book things began to pick up.  So never give up - if you've started a book, most times it's well worth it to finish.  I've read quite a few books that started slow and picked up toward the middle.  Once Abby meets Ellie and things start get confusing to her, they also begin to start making sense.  And when it leads Ned to make a couple of confessions, Abby reacts with disbelief and anger, that she will have to backpedal on later.  I don't get why Abby is so stubborn when it comes to Ned: he's a nice guy who truly loves her, but she has this streak of not believing in herself - no self-confidence maybe, because she's always feeling the need to prove something to herself.

But the writing is good, the story does pick up, and I enjoyed the book.  It is a quick read and recommended.


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