Author: Janet Kay
Paranormal Spiritism and Occult, 264 pages
Published in 2018 by World Castle Publishing LLC, Pensacola, Florida
Reviewed by Lisa Lickel, www.LisaLickel.com
The Sisters, steeped in the occult and spiritism, is a cautionary tale of three souls locked in a cycle of jealousy, rage, and despair. This lifetime could be their chance at forgiveness.
Kay’s novels are set in exotic eras of unusual settings, always painstakingly researched with believable characters experiencing the reality of their situation. In this story, Bella relives the shock of a soul lost in the devastation of the 1900 hurricane that shredded Galveston, Texas. But the gift of Bella’s spirit guide is only the means to show her truths of a battle that she can ultimately decide to win or lose…again.
Bella and her older sister Veronica are two sides to the coin of an old-money, well-established family on Galveston island. Bella has always had a wild side, whereas Veronica has always been a “stuffed shirt,” concerned with reputation. Bella seems to have inherited all the passion between the siblings. The story opens at the death of Veronica’s husband Jimmy, a self-made man chosen for her by her father, but living a double life. Since girlhood Bella is the sister who accepts the hauntings of her ancestral home while Veronica pooh-poohs the whole notion…until the death of the girls’ mother a short two months after Jimmy. While Bella writes her spirit-guided novel in her cozy little cottage, strange occurrences at the family home send Veronica looking for answers at the island’s Witchery shop. The sisters meet by chance downtown when Bella finishes her book, and decide to call a truce. But the reconciliation is short-lived when Bella simply can’t find a happy place, even for a moment, whenever Jimmy’s name is invoked. Jimmy isn’t the only soul with a secret.
Upon accidentally overhearing gossip, Veronica is forced to look at the truth of her life. She attempts to reconcile with Bella one last time in a triumphant party to celebrate Bella’s book. Tragedy sends Veronica over the edge to search for understanding the lies she’s accepted and reinvented through several lifetimes. But forgiveness can’t be one-sided. Veronica’s revelation, “That’s the way I’d always handled troubling situations in my life—locking my emotions away someplace deep down so I wouldn’t have to deal with them,” shows how these souls have struggled.
Told in first person through four characters, Kay explores an imaginative idea about choice, justification, reunion, and reincarnation. “We decide what’s right and wrong,” declares a spirit on the other side. Those who like ghosts and the occult will find a lot to think about in this tale of love and loss.
Reviewer Lisa Lickel writes from the peaceful rolling hills of western Wisconsin. A multi-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, occasional articles, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, and a freelance editor. She and her husband travel and enjoy family time.
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