It s 3 30 am at my part of the world right now Am wide awake because I couldn t possibly put this book down and sleep Finished it in one sitting Yes, it wasthat good 3.5 stars somewhere between liked and really liked If you want to read an English ghost story set during wartime either WWI or WWII or immediately before, between, or after , Simone St James is who you should read She writes romantic ghost stories that will also appeal to readers of historical fiction They re usually a bit too dark to be cozy, but they re definitely a nice mix of suspense and romance.In this one, the ghost was only part of the plot I would have given this 4 stars, but one of the characters really rubbed me the wrong way Specifically view spoiler I hated Alex He didn t respect any of his wife s boundaries and had that husband knows best attitude that may be historically accurate, I don t know, but I hated that he brushed aside his wife s feelings for his own hide spoiler England, 1921 Jo Manders husband Alex, was shot down over Germany three years before and disappeared In need of money to support her and her sick mother did Jo agree to be a paid companion to Alex wealthy albeit condescending aunt Dottie Forsyth Now they are returning home to England, to the Forsyth family s estate in the Sussex countryside Jo has never visited the place before and she realizes there that she doesn t know much about her husband s origin, and there seem to be a something with the place, something not at peaceThis is the kind of book that I love to read A historical mystery with a paranormal touch I quickly connected with the story and with the characters and I enjoyed this historical mystery very much The one thing that bothered me a bit was that I think the blurb I read one Goodreads gave away too much So, I would advise any reader to be careful with reading about the book on Goodreads Especially if you want to be kept in the dark about certain things in the story Sometimes I think the less one knows about the story the better it is And, that is why I will not reveal too much of what is going in the book However, what I will address some of the aspects of the book that I enjoyed very much Like for instance that the book is well written, and this is one of few books with an instalove couple that I enjoy reading I think it s because Simone St James manage to portray both Jo and Alex so good that they come alive You feel for Jo as she tries to live without Alex and the flashbacks to when they met and married each other are lovely And, then we have the mystery of the book The things Jo sees in the house isn t necessary terrifying, but it s awfully intriguing and thrilling to read about I wasn t surprised over some turns in the story, but I nevertheless found the book to be very engrossing I will keep an eye out forbooks by Simone St James 4.5 stars I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review I love it when a book can take me by surprise and before I know it, I m completely immersed inside the pages Lost Among the Living was the perfect blend of genres Historic with a slight touch of the paranormal and a dash of swoon worthy romance, it truly was a winner in its category With the right amount of mystery, creepiness, and a romance that left you longing for , this book surprised me with how captivating it became as the story got darker and the lies and secrets thicker One that all lovers of the blend of genres alike, will love and when it is over, be left wantingI m so glad I took a chance on this one and tried it, I wasn t disappointed in the least with the beautiful writing and the story that slowly unfolded as the mystery was unraveled one secret at a time A must read for everyone ARC copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Starting out slowly, Lost Among the Living introduced the young, widowed Jo Manders It was 1921 and she was responsible for her mother who had been committed to an asylum It had also been three years since she lost her husband, Alex, during The Great War but his body was never recovered Told with flashbacks, she loved her husband deeply Now 26 years old with few skills to recommend her, she worked as a companion for her husband s Aunt Dottie The name was fitting because Dottie was a moody woman locked in an unhappy marriage Her son, Martin, had recently returned home after battling many surgeries for a war related shrapnel injury and a morphine addiction Jo sensed early on that that Wych Elm House was the site of past misery Like Simone St James previous stories, Lost Among the Living had a strong gothic vibe An unsolved murder from time gone by, ghosts and numerous secrets whispered through the hallways and rooms Items that moved and eerie noises elevated the suspense At times a little too busy, this historical mystery was a good who done it. I love Simone s writing, so I knew this wouldn t disappoint me Everything about her books I love. Another great story by St James I would say this is my second favorite book of hers the first being The Haunting of Maddy Clare I listened to the audio of this and it was wonderful She really knows how to evoke an eerie atmosphere Her descriptions of Frances and Princer s appearances were just chilling I was starting to think they were real myself. England,Three Years After Her Husband, Alex, Disappeared, Shot Down Over Germany, Jo Manders Still Mourns His Loss Working As A Paid Companion To Alex S Wealthy, Condescending Aunt, Dottie Forsyth, Jo Travels To The Family S Estate In The Sussex Countryside But There Is Much She Never Knew About Her Husband S Originsand The Revelation Of A Mysterious Death In The Forsyths Past Is Just The BeginningAll Is Not Well At Wych Elm House Dottie S Husband Is Distant, And Her Son Was Grievously Injured In The War Footsteps Follow Jo Down Empty Halls, And Items In Her Bedroom Are Eerily Rearranged The Locals Say The Family Is Cursed, And That A Ghost In The Woods Has Never Rested And When Jo Discovers Her Husband S Darkest Secrets, She Wonders If She Ever Really Knew Him Isolated In A Place Of Deception And Grief, She Must Find The Truth Or Lose Herself ForeverAnd Then A Familiar Stranger Arrives At Wych Elm House I have enjoyed each book I have read by Simone St James beginning with the Haunting of Maddy Clare They have all been thought provoking, emotional thrillers The characters, in some way or another, were all dealing with the aftermath of having survived and come home from WWI It was a time period I have never read about and found tragic and moving as a backdrop There are all excellent books This book, Lost Among the Living, is my favorite one to date In this story, a widow left behind to survive in a time when women had few, if any, options to support themselves if they were alone The breath stealing loss of a loved one, never knowing the truth, has to be devastating in any time period, all while just trying to deal with the basics of surviving in a world with few options Add in murder and a lost spirit haunting a dysfunctional family and you have a complex, multi leveled thriller There were so many shocking twists and turns and kept me turning the pages well into the night It was absolutely fantastic. Ghosts, I thought I am living with ghostsI ll say it now and I ll say it again Simone St James is the Victoria Holt of our generation She never fails to deliver deliciously Gothic romance novels that both exhilarate and frighten the reader Her haunting scenes are some of the scariest scenes I ve ever read, and her heroines, though living in the past are thoroughly modern I will read absolutely anything this woman writes, and you should too.
Simone St James is the award winning author of The Broken Girls and The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full time
- 318 pages
- Lost Among the Living
- Simone St. James
- 04 January 2018 Simone St. James