Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Saturday, December 3, 2011


We Hear the Dead by Dianne K. Salerni
(Quirky Historical Fiction)

I originally picked up this book because it looked like a great paranormal read--eerie title, mysterious cover and a storyline of two girls who can communicate with the dead.  I was wrong, wrong, wrong!  And it was in this wrongness that I found an incredible book!  What I had stumbled on, instead or paranormal fiction, was my very favorite kind of book-quirky historical stories.

This is the tale of two sisters who pretend (or do they?) to be able to communicate with ghosts.  What starts as a childish game has them growing up and becoming quite famous.  The girls' fame causes them to move to bigger cities and holding seances, capturing the attention of America.  When one sister starts to believe her own stories, the other wants to come clean.  That's when the real fun begins!

What made this book so delightful is that is was actually based on true events and real people.  When I found that out, I raced to my computer and spent a couple of hours reading about these wacky, wonderful women.  The storyline seemed to hard to believe-who in their right mind would buy such a story?  This was at a time of mesmerism and spiritualism fever in the US and, really, what has changed since then?  There's even an entire channel on cable devoted to the paranormal.

These fascinating sisters and their stories kept me glued to the book the whole way through and I was sorry when their story ended.  I didn't expect so much from one story and the romance towards the end was just one nugget of fun.  I loved the heartbreaking moments and the fact that the characters so openly admitted their mistakes and fallibility.

This was one instance where I was so very glad to be so very wrong.

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