Official Review: Stone Cottage by Maighread MacKay

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MsMartha
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Official Review: Stone Cottage by Maighread MacKay

Post by MsMartha »

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Stone Cottage" by Maighread MacKay.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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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.

******
Stone Cottage
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Post by Maighread MacKay »

Thank you for your review. As clarification, neither "cit" nor "ton" were misspelled nor only partial words. They are British words that would be well known to the aristocracy of the time. Henrietta was the daughter of an Earl and Countess. The word "ton" means the upper aristocracy in which they circulated. No one of that era or class wished to offend the ton. A "cit" was a person of great wealth, but one that had worked for his living, rather than inheriting it. Work for the upper class was frowned on and even though Henrietta was titled, her husband was not and would be considered a cit. Her family and friends would put up with him because of his wealth, but they definitely would have looked down their noses at him.
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MsMartha
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Post by MsMartha »

Maighread, thank you so much for this information! I thought I remembered the word ton from a book I read MANY years ago, but I didn't have any luck searching for it. Cit is new for me. I really appreciate your response.
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Post by Maighread MacKay »

Does that bump me up to a 3? :)
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Post by kimmyschemy06 »

That was a very honest review. The premise sounds promising. I like ghost stories. Too bad about the flaws, though. Good job on the review.
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Post by Maighread MacKay »

Hi Kimmy: If you would like to sample the writing, you can go on Amazon and read a few chapters for free.
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Post by kimmyschemy06 »

Maighread MacKay wrote:Hi Kimmy: If you would like to sample the writing, you can go on Amazon and read a few chapters for free.
Will do. I love your cover, by the way. Kind of creepy :)
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Post by Maighread MacKay »

Thanks, Kimmy. I love it too. Solstice Publishing is the publisher who designed the cover and published the book. I got the idea for the book from Robert Schwartz's book "Your Soul's Plan". It is an excellent study of reincarnation, pre-birth planning, and past life regression. I wanted to present the concept in a novel format, thus Stone Cottage was born. :)
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Post by MsMartha »

I have to agree that this was a spectacular cover.
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Post by LivreAmour217 »

Great review! I usually enjoy ghost stories, and this one seems very interesting, so I am tempted to put it on my reading list.
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Post by hsimone »

Wonderful review! Even with the issues you mentioned, I am still interested in reading this book. It sounds very intriguing and one that I may enjoy! Thank you! :)
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Post by Maighread MacKay »

Thank you LivreAmour217 and hsimone for your kind words. One other review on the Canadian site of Amazon that you might find helpful reads:

5.0 out of 5 starsI thoroughly enjoyed the story that MacKay has weaved in that it ...
By Rick Pyves on Jan. 11 2016
Format: Kindle Edition

I thoroughly enjoyed the story that MacKay has weaved in that it was entertaining, unexpected and kept be wanting to read on. I am looking forward to her next book. I appreciated the authenticity of both the characters and setting and it is obvious that MacKay has researched the time period and the settings well.
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