Melissa McShane's Reviews > The Haunting of Maddy Clare

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
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it was amazing
bookshelves: own, ghosts, historical-fiction, world-war-1, romance, mystery, thriller

I picked this up at the thrift store because I remembered friends talking about the author and because it was in beautiful shape and, let's face it, I am a sucker for a beautiful book. I read and enjoyed it and gave it a four-star rating in my personal spreadsheet. (Yes, I keep multiple records of what I've read. No, I don't think that's obsessive. Carry on.)

And then I couldn't stop thinking about it.

This happens sometimes. Some book will grab me and won't let go. In this case, I think I was compelled by Sarah and Matthew's relationship, which is driven by their mutual need not to be alone. These are two deeply damaged people who find in one another something that saves them. I'm not sure how much else I can say without going into spoiler territory...well, maybe I'll just do that: (view spoiler)

The story itself isn't very unusual: the ghost is a typical dark-haired long-fingered cold-generating spirit, and she plays all the usual tricks. What saves it from being tedious is the historical setting, with 1920s ghost hunters and all the "equipment" they have to build or repurpose to capture evidence of ghosts. St. James has a great sense of period, and I particularly like the post-WWI setting and how it allows her to deal with the emotional fallout the surviving soldiers experienced, in a time before anyone had heard of PTSD. In Alistair and Matthew she shows different aspects of that reality, as the experience wasn't the same for everyone. Alistair isn't as obviously wounded as Matthew, but the scars are still real.

I'm really glad I picked this up on a whim. I also got a few of St. James's other books, and I look forward to reading them.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 22, 2019 – Finished Reading
April 23, 2019 – Shelved

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