Need Help? Hire a Ghost!
Justine Hale has her work cut out for her. Her husband has up and left for some unknown part of the world to become a monk leaving behind two kids and his mother. As if this is not bad enough, Justine's father died just after, leaving behind her mother and heavy debts. Now Justine has her hands full with two children, an eleven year old son who is full of anger and tantrums and an eight year old daughter who is afraid of abandonment and scared even of her own shadow!
Add her everything-purple ex-mother-in-law and her bankrupt, without an ounce of commonsense mother to this mix and it becomes a perfect recipe for disaster.
Although Justine is brave, courageous and level headed, she is also grief stricken, scared and conscious of the fact that her husband left her to become a monk! Hoping that a change of place would be good for everyone and also provide a chance to start afresh, they come to live in a two hundred year old plantation house on Persimmon Road which though old and in need of some repairs is peaceful and quiet. Just the thing Justine needs at present. But what they don't know is that the place comes with a resident ghost, Lottie, who has been sitting on her bones for years and waiting for a chance to come to life again. She has just one wish and that is to get her body back and be seen and heard by people and live normally. She is sure that this is possible as no one ever found her bones and she was never properly cremated. Now that Justine and her family are here, she has a chance at getting her body back and live normally again.
Meanwhile, even before Justine is able to open her front door she comes face to face with her neighbor Tucker Highsmith, who is cool, responsible and utterly handsome. While they feel an attraction to each other, none is ready to explore it. Tucker has his share of baggage with a father who is battling liquor addiction and so kept under watch and a lingering fear that no woman will ever accept him along with his needy father.
But are these doubts valid?
Will Justine and Tucker be able to accept their situation?
Can Justine settle her family and start afresh?
Can she be the person her family needs?
Will Lottie get her body back?
What is the mystery of the caretaker and his mysterious diggings?
What is he looking for?
Is the rumor of the treasure buried in the house or in its grounds true?
Jackie Weger is not your typical romance author. She is unpredictable and unconventional. When I started reading The House on Persimmon Road, I had a preconceived notion about it but halfway through, it became crystal clear that it was not a Casper style ghost story nor the saccharine sweet romance I had in mind.
Everything was relaxing. Although, I totally understood Justine's plight and everyone's sadness, nevertheless I was sure of everything coming out great eventually. The pace of the story is leisurely and I was comforted as I read it.
The characters are normal, mistakes-making people who although often at loggerheads are connected to each other by a bond of love and care. I thoroughly enjoyed the bickering between Pauline, Justine's mother and Agnes, her ex-mother-in-law. Wheeler, Tucker's father is also a very interesting character and his often childish acts are endearing and totally cute.
Justine's kids were cute and touched my heart with their vulnerability and their efforts at coming to terms with their loss. Their often mature behavior and care for their mother completely stumped me and made me look at them with a new respect.
I was warmed by the love and care between Justine and Tucker. Although, Tucker knows what he wants with Justine he is ready to give her time and space. He is caring, understanding and non demanding, a complete opposite to Justine's former husband. Their doubts, vulnerabilities and fear of losing a precious relationship again touched my heart and made me hope for a happy ending for them.
Lottie, our resident ghost, is a completely different matter. She is funny, cranky and a bit too inquisitive to come out from the "betwixt and between". Her totally whacky attempts at regaining her physical form are hilarious and very entertaining.
The writing is crisp and simple yet very engaging. The description of the house and the surroundings made me imagine the place clearly. I was able to believe that I was there and could feel each and every shift in the air!
The only thing that I felt was too easily resolved was the part with the caretaker who simply accepts his fate even though he has been laboring for a specific end for years. A bit more resistance was expected from him.
Also how Lottie died is not elaborated and left me wondering what happened to her all those years ago.
I would have so enjoyed to read more about Lottie's history and her death.
Nevertheless, I was completely entertained by The House on Persimmon Roadand give it a 4 out of 5 with a strong recommendation that you read it. An unconventional ghost, a very different love story and a family that is trying to find an anchor for themselves. This is a story you should definitely read.
I received this book as a gift from the author, Jackie Weger and am very thankful to her. The above review is my personal and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.
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