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Genre: Mainstream, General Mainstream Fiction
Michalski’s excellent debut is a touching tale of regret and treasured memories. She brings the rural setting to life, so that New England and the farmstead become characters. Each chapter focuses on one of the three main characters, creating a strong connection to the reader and producing an absorbing story out of a relatively simple plot. And even though the book’s subtitle is “Ghosts don’t give up,” the spectral presence is minimal and used to its best advantage.
When Andie’s Uncle Frank passes away, she returns to Evenfall, the Connecticut farmstead where she spent the summers of her youth, to help her Aunt Gert put things in order. Andie’s running from a failed relationship and Gert’s running from her memories of Frank, the man she loved until he married her late sister. Both women must sort through their pasts in the shadow of Evenfall. Frank’s ghost, possessing a tenuous grip on the living world, also sorts through his own regrets as he tries to help the two Murphy women. (BERKLEY, Feb., 336 pp., $15.00)
Reviewed By: Leah Hansen
Published: February 2011