There is no way else to begin this review except to say that every reader out there will find this novel
enjoyable to read, that it will be quite impossible to put it down.
(Andie) has to break away from her “old” life. This is a woman who,
for the last ten years, has tried to reinvent herself after leaving the
husband she truly loved. North Archer is a fantastic man…underneath the
entire “hard-working lawyer” facade that he has a tendency to hide
behind. During their short-lived marriage, he had to protect the family
firm and found himself constantly sitting behind his huge desk, making
decisions for the company and for his family. Unfortunately, Andie –
his brand new wife – was the one member of his family that he seemed to
forget all about.
As our story begins, Andie is
back in that dreaded lawyer’s office handing North back all the alimony
checks he’s sent to her for the past ten years. She is in love with
someone else now, (sort of), and she wants to marry him and begin a new
life by cutting all ties with her past. The problem is that Andie and
North seem to be unable to let that past go.
their meeting, North begs Andie to go down to southern Ohio and take
care of a little “problem” he has down there. He has inherited two
children from a distant cousin who has passed away. He needs to be able
to bring these children to him, but the kids seem unable, for some
strange reason, to leave the house they are living in. He’s sent all
kinds of nannies down to be with them, but the last one mysteriously
fell over a railing and died. He knows that his strong ex-wife can fix
this problem for him and, deep down, he knows it’s a way to keep Andie
in his life for just a little while longer. For reasons unbeknownst to
her, Andie accepts the job and heads down to this old, frightening
mansion with no idea what or how she’s going to accomplish this task.
This house was actually brought over from England, piece by piece, and set-up in America in the 19th
century. The house provides battlements, turrets, and all things that
scream “ancient castle” – especially…the ghosts that haunt every single
room. Andie meets up with the children – Alice and Carter – and notices
that there’s something very strange about the way they act. She soon
begins to “see” and “hear” the things that are keeping the children tied
to the house and making it so they can’t even leave the grounds. An
old governess that has been around for hundreds of years has her ghostly
“claws” into the young girl named Alice, and refuses to let anyone take
the girl away from her home. Not only that, but the ex-nanny who has
recently succumbed to death is also “dancing” around the large house,
talking to the children, and refusing to let go and walk into the
light. Add to that, an angry man who very much likes to be the king of
his castle, and the show begins.
author has once again created a wild and extremely funny novel that
takes the reader into all types of hysterical situations. From the love
that is re-blossoming between North and Andie; to the children’s
adventures with the “things that go bump in the night,” every page is
filled with just about everything a reader is looking for in a novel.
Characters are introduced that include North and Andie’s moms, who like
to “face off” with each other about what the other one’s child did to
theirs; a brother who likes to carve notches in his belt where women are
concerned, who has recently hooked himself up with a television
reporter who wants to revive her career by getting the “scoop” on the
poor children stuck in the haunted house; and, a psychic extraordinaire
who is absolutely sick and tired of the “real” humans constantly
knocking on the door while she’s trying desperately to hold a séance.
(Which, by the way, is one of the funniest scenes in any novel I’ve ever
I am a fan of Ms. Crusie’s books, but even
I can tell you that this one is a “home run.” Readers who want
romance, humor, drama, sci-fi, history...basically everyone, will enjoy
this book from page one straight on through to the end. And the END?
Well…let’s just say that you’ll get the surprise of your life! I think
Ms. Crusie should be tied to her keyboard so I can be lucky enough to
receive at least one of her books every single month.