The opening chapter of this book by S D Robertson is powerful and intriguing. Will dies in a road accident. He has been a single parent to Ella since her mother died in childbirth. His spirit is devastated by having to leave her. The only person who can now see him is his spirit “guide” and she agrees an extension to him “passing over” for a while. That sets up the possibility of a powerful and emotional story. I’d prefer not to give anything much away as reading a new book should be a journey of discovery however this book follows his time as a spirit. He spends time with his family and tries to get Ella to “see” him again.
I’ve certainly read books which have used similar ideas in the past and found that they tread a difficult line mostly. My early notes while reading this contain the phrase “Powerful but matter of fact as well” and this is part of the problem. While I did fine the book nicely written it was also rather “matter of fact” for a story that should be highly charged emotionally. In general I certainly found the characters seemed a little shallow and less than unconvincing. Somehow Will’s basic dilemma of whether he can/should try and stay with his daughter didn’t seem to get the traction I felt it richly deserved. With hindsight the most interesting part of the book was Will’s interaction (after death) with his father but that would require a large spoiler alert to say more about!
I did find the last third raised the emotional level of the book and made it hard to put down. There was some far more powerful scenes and threads in this section for me. I’m sure many will find this a powerful and emotional read. It is without question a very good debut book however despite the traumas and dramas it still felt less than convincing though it is definitely not a bad book. I’d happily read the next book by this author.
Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review