Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The After House by Michael Phillip Cash





-Carrie Anne

Remy Galway and her daughter Olivia are rebuilding their life after a failed marriage in a 300 year old cottage in historic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island.  Little do they know, another occupant is lurking in the haven of their own home.  Will the After House be their shelter or their tombe?

Yes, Remy and Olivia are sharing their home with the spirit of Eli, a whaling captain that died centuries ago.  He seems harmless enough, though, and we find that he's just looking to rebuild his life, too.  He feels as though he disappointed and hurt many people before he died, and that's why he's unable to move on.  This book is his story, as much as that of Olivia and Remy.  The flashbacks to his life are always thrilling, informative, and well written.

There is a real threat to Remy, though, and figuring out who's behind it is where most of the drama comes from.  Someone even damages the shop she owns, but at that point the local mayor steps in and takes her under his wing.  Thus begins a sudden, deep relationship between the two fo them that I found implausible.  Yes, we'd all like to believe that we can feel whole when we meet someone and that we've found our place, but how often is that in the first two days, especially when there's a little girl involved and a devastating divorce in the not too distant past??

There is one other ongoing story, that of the sentinels.  We were introduced to them in another of Cash's books, The Flip.  This time we learn a little more about them.  They appear to be guardian angels of a sort, tasked with helping kindred spirits (soul mates)  find each other, and live the life they're meant to live.  While we know more than we did in The Flip, I'm still not entirely sure I understand.  But, I've always said Cash's books make me think!

There are other references and characters from Cash's previous books, but they are a kind of Easter Egg for the reader, nothing that keeps this book from standing alone.  I will say, though, if you read one, you'll most likely want to read the others.  The characters are always relatable and the books have an entertaining blend of romance, history, and the paranormal.

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