Hello readers, I really hope you’ve enjoyed the influx of posts recently. I feel like I have reviews coming out of my ears and the requests just keep on coming. I’m going to keep storming through them as quickly as I can but each will be given their own special time and review as always. If you are waiting for a review I promise it is on my TBR list which currently if piled on top of the other feels like it would reach up to the fluffy white clouds above but I’ll get there. Today’s book reviewed is a little different for mylittlebookblog but I think you’ll enjoy it nonetheless.
On the night that Shelly Buckner finally became a mother, she very nearly became a widow. Her husband, Eric, seriously injured in a car accident on the way to the hospital, was dead for a full eight minutes before being revived—all while Shelly was in labor. Those eight minutes changed everything Shelly thought was possible.
Three years later, their son, Toby, brings home an imaginary friend. But he’s no ordinary playmate—John Robberson is a fighter pilot and Vietnam vet. As Toby provides unlikely details about John’s life—and Toby’s tantrums increase—Shelly becomes convinced that John was real and now wants something from Toby. But her husband has his doubts, and as Shelly becomes involved, even obsessed, with finding out the truth, their marriage begins to disintegrate. Torn between protecting her child and keeping the peace with her husband, Shelly desperately searches for a way to finally put John Robberson out of their lives.
So, today’s review is of a book that I wouldn’t normally pick. Books with a paranormal or psychic feel to them don’t often sit right with me but this one worked for me and has got me interested in this genre of novel. The book, as the blurb suggests, follows Shelly and her family made up of her husband Eric and her darling son Toby. The date of his delivery, Eric was nowhere to be seen. Unknown to Shelly he was in another section of the hospital dead for around eight minutes before he was miraculously revived. We catch up with this little family when Toby has reached the tender age of three, but something is wrong. Toby is talking about a mysterious John Robberson. He’s whispering to him, and who is Kay and why doesn’t she want him to go back for the dog? It’s really making little sense. Shelly knows she must work it out to help save her family and her adorable little boy.
The reason these books don’t seem to sit right with me is because I’m always thinking about the authenticity of the book and the paranormal almost supernatural forces at play. However, it seems to work here because the characters are so strongly developed. Shelly is maternal and warm. She is often impulsive, utterly stubborn and strong to her family to the core. Toby is utterly adorable and I found myself a little heartbroken in his struggle to understand what was going on. Eric is written with skill and understanding and his plight as a husband and his difficultly to understand Shelly’s need to pin this on a restless spirit helped to contrast with his desperation to make a joke of it all.
The writing style is strong and told from the mother’s point of view allows for this constant confusion of what is best for her son and what is the next action. There is a balanced mix between snappy dialogue and description. The chapters additionally felt shorter than in other books I’ve read recently which felt fresh and a welcome addition. With a book that although revolves around an interesting topic is a little docile and there’s nothing wrong with that, but if the pace of the book was lacking in gusto it could make it grind to a halt. However the chapters being short and making impact help to push this forward. Additionally I thought the twist towards the end helped to shock the reader. I did see it coming however it definitely added something to the plot line.
This book really surprised me as a reader, I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did but I’m really glad I gave this book the chance it deserved. I thought that this book had strong foundations and the short and snappy chapters helped to reinforce this. The plot line didn’t feel too forced or too ambiguous and I think the warm characters that you could relate to helped to reinforce this. For me, someone that is a little sceptical I thought this was handled with enough speculation to make it feel intriguing. Overall a book I think has changed my mind as to this genre and an author I would definitely go back to.