Thursday, July 24, 2014

Haunted by the Ghost of Your Love: "The Barter" by Siobhan Adcock

 Bridget is a wife and mom. She was once an attorney but gave up her career to stay home with her delightful, darling little daughter Julie, and become enmeshed in the local stay at home mommy culture. Her husband Mark works for a software company and is the sole provider for his family, working late, often coming home to sleep and leave again. Bridget has lots of time to think. About life, motherhood...and death. Then, one day, there is a scent in the house. A scent of earth and springtime...and decay. It becomes a scent that Bridget becomes all too familiar with as it is a smell that precedes a ghost.
The Barter also tells the story of Rebecca Mueller, a century ago. Rebecca was the beautiful, smart  well loved daughter of a local physician whose spinster cousin, Frau Adeline,  helps to raise her. Frau was an adept story-teller, adept especially at stories about Rebecca's beautiful mother who died young. Rebecca marries a man she has known since childhood, a kind, handsome farmer. Theirs should have been a happy ending. Instead, it is a story of mistakes and misunderstandings that cannot be undone. What is the connection between these two women who live their lives a hundred years apart? You will have to get a copy and see.
Ms. Adcock is an adept storyteller, herself, an author who makes you care about her characters and fear for them. She has written a book that manages to be both a charming insight into motherhood and a chilling ghost story. It is a book that will keep you up reading until the last page. There's no higher compliment.

And... not that this has anything to do with this book specifically, but I love this song and it seems apropos:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Don't Be Afraid, You Can Call Me (or Text!): "idrakula" by Bekka Black

Bekka Black's thoroughly modern take on the classic Dracula, idrakula, manages to be very funny while also maintaining the creepy spirit of Bram Stoker's original. Told through e-mails, browser screens and text messages, we are swept along in the correspondence between Mina Murray, her beau, Jonathan Harker and her BFF Lucy Westenra, whose boyfriend, Randolph Renfield, has been carted off to Bellevue, an insane asylum in NY for, among other things, biting the head off a mouse.
With Randolph out of action, his father implores Jonathan to take his son's place in meeting with an important client (guess who!) in Romania, so, he's off on his first trip ever out of the USA. Meanwhile, Mina follows his trip online while researching everything from Romanian recipes to romantic getaways. He's going to miss her jujitsu tournament, but that can't be helped.
What awaits Jonathan on his journey? How will it affect his and Mina's relationship? Will Lucy get it on with that handsome pre-med student, Abe Van Helsing? I don't want to give anything away that might spoil the pleasure of  this dark delight! You'll just have to buy, borrow or, better yet, download it and enjoy this completely addictive read yourself!