I have been curious about what kind of book Shawn Smucker writes. This is the first of his books that I have read.
It was an interesting premise of an ailing grandfather and his precocious granddaughter taking a trip to Grampy’s home town, a remote place. It is told in first person as if the grandfather is telling a story to his granddaughter Pearl. “I realize memories are heavy things, heavier still when we don’t let them go.”
The descriptions are top notch and put me right there in the pages. It kept me reading to see what happened next. But in the end, it fell short for me. I was expecting a clear Christian message. Other than the scene where the characters go to a church and take communion without knowing what it means and one trying to explain the doxology, there was nothing concrete or clear.
I liked the varying lengths of the chapters, but did not like the way it jumped forward and backward without a clear indicator.
A good ghost story? Yes! Great writing? Yes! A Christian allegory. Sadly No!
Will I read more by this author? Probably but not soon.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*4 stars more a clean read, nominal faith thread.
When Paul Elias receives a terminal diagnosis, he leaves his physician's office in a fog. Only one thing is clear to him: if he is going to die, he must find someone to watch over his granddaughter, Pearl, who has been in his charge since her drug-addicted father disappeared. Paul decides to take her back to Nysa--both the place where he grew up and the place where he lost his beloved wife under strange circumstances forty years earlier.
But when he picks up Pearl from school, the little girl already seems to know of his plans, claiming a woman told her.
In Nysa, Paul reconnects with an old friend but is not prepared for the onslaught of memory. And when Pearl starts vanishing at night and returning with increasingly bizarre tales, Paul begins to question her sanity, his own views on death, and the nature of reality itself.
In this suspenseful and introspective story from award-winning author Shawn Smucker, the past and the present mingle like opposing breezes, teasing out the truth about life, death, and sacrifice.