From the award-winning author of In the Shadow of Blackbirds comes a stunning new novel—a masterfully crafted story of love, loss, and second chances. Set during the fear and panic of the Great Influenza of 1918, The Uninvited is part gothic ghost-story, part psychological thriller, perfect for those who loved The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield or The Vanishing by Wendy Webb.
Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days.
But Ivy’s life-long gift—or curse—remains. For she sees the uninvited ones—ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War.
Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her ‘uninvited guests’ begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold. – Goodreads.com
This book was very well-written, but didn’t draw me in as I’d hoped. In fact, I’d given up on it, ready to mark it a DNF. The main character, Ivy, frustrated and annoyed me, wandering from place to place, making the story seem random and disjointed. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and had heard good things about her other books, so I was disappointed. Then, I saw some reviews on Goodreads, a few of them encouraging readers to stick with the book, the plot twist near the end tied everything together. So I decided to give it another try, but I have to admit, I’d guessed the twist earlier, although I’d hoped there might be more to it.
Even though I didn’t connect with this novel, I enjoyed the setting and time period; however, it seemed to be missing the haunted, eerie atmosphere I associate with gothic ghost stories.
The Uninvited is scheduled for publication August 11, 2015. Thanks to Edelweiss for providing me an ARC for review.