2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Stone Cottage by Maighread MacKay is an interesting book about a haunted house in Canada and the relationship between a woman who wants to buy the house, and a young woman who has lived there, alive or not.
Victoria Anne McBride is the ghost, a woman who died in 1875. She lives alone at the Stone Cottage, and believes she is waiting for her husband to return home. A large part of the story is about her life and the relationships she had with her parents, husband, and daughter.
Rebecca Wainwright is a living woman who is a senior executive in her family’s business. She struggles with anxiety attacks that began to occur when her father died. She has had good medical help, and has a husband, David, and a friend named Cissy who are loving and supportive, but she has not fully recovered. Rebecca decides to take a drive into the country and see if she can find a small house where she could spend personal time, as part of the healing process. She discovers Stone Cottage, which is for sale. As she looks around at the property, she has a detailed vision of Victoria with her daughter and father. Rebecca not only becomes interested in the house: she needs to understand what she saw, and why she saw it.
This is a very detailed book, in many ways. There are backstories about both Rebecca and Victoria that are very lengthy. Rebecca’s friend, Cissy, is deeply involved with the research about the house, Victoria’s life, and her possible connection to Rebecca. Personally, I found it fascinating to see how the story developed, and how all the details meshed and came to a conclusion.
Some aspects of the story were done quite well. One of the best examples is the research Rebecca and Cissy do about reincarnation, and their visits to a regressionist (someone who guides them through an earlier life event). This was not only interesting, it was very well written.
One thing that I occasionally had trouble with was the backstories. Besides being very long, in some cases it was difficult to grasp the timing of the events. I occasionally found it necessary to reread a chapter to see if I could discover a detail that would make the timing clearer.
I also noticed some issues that could simply be resolved with editing, as opposed to rewriting. Spelling was good, but there were other things that could be corrected. For example, some sentences had missing words, such as “I wonder who she.” Some had extra words, such as “they their friendship”. In Chapter 26 there were two words, cit and ton, that I didn’t understand, even after checking the dictionary. (I wonder if these were actually partial words, or possibly misspelled.) Some paragraphs would be better if it was determined whether to use past or present tense, not both at the same time.
As much as I enjoyed the well-done sections of this book, I do think additional editing would make it much better. As a result, I’m rating it as 2 out of 4 stars, but I think that there is great potential for a higher rating. Please note, in case this is a concern, that there are some detailed sexual encounters in this book; but in general, I think Stone Cottage will catch the interest of readers who like ghost stories and are interested in reincarnation. I would also suggest it to someone who is curious to find out if they would enjoy stories of this kind.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like MsMartha's review? Post a comment saying so!