...if they don't know they are, indeed, dead?" ~Elaine (Grave's End, 2001)
Perhaps I have a special fondness for this book because the author belongs to the nursing profession, and as a fellow "Florence Nightingalian" I feel a deep sense of admiration for what she's written. Never mind that her experience took from 1982 to 2001 to get written down and published. Regardless of the time it took, I still found it a fascinating read. It was like watching "Paranormal Activity" on paper, only much deeper, completely richer.
Elaine's frank descriptions about finding the house that she hoped would bring her marriage together, and then going through the frustrations of realizing it was a failed hope... on top of living in house that became progressively more supernaturally active, was exquisitely compelling. This story is described as a true story, and I have no doubt that much of it is true from the point of view of the author. I do have to wonder if there were parts that were embellished, or exaggerated in order to make the story more interesting to the reader, but what made it enticing was not only the haunting but the life toils and troubles that Elaine went through with her family during this time.
Most adults that struggle to be parents, and who have children in their early or late teens can empathize with what Elaine described in her novel. Add to this, Elaine's commitment toward independence in a career and profession after being dependent on her husband for so long, and the story pulls at the heart strings of the reader and coaxes the page traveler to keep turning the paper. :)
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and I'm not at a point in my life right now where I can be poetic or write deep meaningful prose about it. What I liked was the story's frankness. It's blunt honesty. It was written just as if I'd picked up a diary of a scared woman living in a haunted house and started reading. I was able to feel her thoughts, her worries, her concerns...even though they weren't ones I would have agreed with or chosen. (I'd have let the professor in to study my family and do the interviews...what the hell?) Still, reading on and learning about Elaine and her family and how they finally discovered the secret of the house and resolved how to live with it... was not only a good read, but was deeply satisfying. I would recommend this novel to anyone who would like a quick and honest read on something paranormal. It might reach beyond their expectations with little balls of light.