This story actually reminded me a lot of my own genealogy research. Similar to Ali and Kelly, I also found out that my grandmother had secrets she had kept from her children and grandchildren, during her entire lifetime as a mother and grandmother.
In Ali’s case the secrets seem to be embedded in the house she has just inherited, almost as if something or someone there is still waiting to be acknowledged or to get some closure.
The presence is so strong that it starts to cause changes in the family. One specific person starts to melt back into the memories, behaviour and emotions of the mysterious presence.
The author takes us from the past to the present, from one chapter to another, letting the story of the past unfold into the lives of those in the house. The reader gets a glimpse of the love and also despair that once vibrated through the walls.The young girl surrounded by family and yet completely alone, oppressed by the strict father and his rules, which ultimately leads to unexpected and tragic events.
Ali has very sexist views when it comes to Kelly. She has to keep herself from blaming her daughter for the fact Kelly’s boyfriend broke up with her, because of her taste in clothes. Dressing like a girl from the 1940’s, ergo too fuddy duddy and not fashionable enough for him to remain interested.
That isn’t the kind of message you want to relay to a daughter, as a mother. Even the fact Ali thinks that way, even if she doesn’t voice it, is quite strange. Perhaps Ali is more like her grandfather than she realises or is history repeating itself on a very subtle level? Is there more than one ghostly echo in the property?
McGurl really likes to weave her stories within the folds of family relationships, secrets and genealogy. Mixing heartbreak with romance to create a pleasant and inviting read,
I received a copy of this book courtesy of the author and Carina UK.