Adult, Historical, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss
My Rating 3.5 Stars
GOODREADSTwenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days.
But Ivy’s life-long gift—or curse—remains. For she sees the uninvited ones—ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War.
Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her ‘uninvited guests’ begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold.
MY THOUGHTS My first Cat Winters book, and I can’t say that it blew me away. I did find it creepy in parts, and I enjoyed it. This book brings a new twist on the infamous Spanish Flu pandemic that killed millions of people in 1918, and one girl’s horrifying ordeal with the dead. It made for an interesting read, to say the least. As far as ghost stories go, I quite like this one.
Ivy Rowan is one of those characters that tend to be hell bent on doing just whatever she wants. She is also incredibly kind and caring, two traits that proved to be daring during a time such as that. When her father and brother pull such a heinous act, she just can’t deal with it. I admired her character a lot throughout this book. Her gift, or curse, of seeing the ghost was straight up creepy. The more the ghost came, the creepier the story got. And that kept me turning the pages.
The historical aspects of this story are very well written. Winters gives you just enough facts and weaves in her fiction perfectly. I want to say this is kind of fantasy, but I think the paranormal overshadowed that aspect. I didn’t feel as swept away by it all as I would have liked. After she leaves home, Ivy is caught up in the music, romance, and booze. Soon, everything starts to unravel and I would have liked for some continuation on the romance before everything got chaotic. Still, the twist threw me for a loop and made for a great read. It started out slow, but gained some momentum as the pages turned. This is definitely worth reading, especially to readers who enjoy paranormal and historical fiction together.