Saturday, May 26, 2012

Otherwise by Jennifer B White: My Review

Otherwise(Blurb from Goodreads) Reluctantly, Delilah Gray has returned to her childhood home—a ramshackle cottage where her compulsive, hoarding grandmother, Meema, raised her. Meema’s ghostly manifestations refuse to let Delilah clean the filthy house, or to stay there peacefully. And that’s just the beginning of Delilah’s problems.

Lonely, angry, and hiding a painful secret, she tries to find a place for herself in a town that she once discovered was “in-between”—a portal to the worlds of the supernatural. Upon her arrival, Delilah unwittingly gets caught in the middle of important business between The Keeper, whose job it is to keep souls on the physical plane, and The Sender who helps speed the dead on their afterlife journey.

When Delilah discovers that she is connected to Lily Defoe, a woman who leapt to her death many years ago, and to a man who refers to himself as The Gravedigger for Lost Souls, she realizes there is more to her homecoming than she anticipated. Who she is, and who she’s been, crosses the boundaries of life and death. Nothing—not the people she meets, not this very moment in time, not even the tragic death of her daughter—is what it appears to be. Not only does Delilah have her own “soul searching” to do, but she must work with some of Green Lake’s oddest characters to uncover the mysteries of several unsolved deaths that have never been forgotten.

While strange and supernatural occurrences threaten Delilah’s already fragile emotional state, she still has a crucial choice to make that will change everything. She comes to understand that there are some things that are worse than death. There is Otherwise—to be confined to a twilight state between the spiritual and the physical worlds.

OTHERWISE is a chilling tale about lonely spirits, protective forces,
and departed loved ones who are never really gone—and a woman who,
after wanting to die, finds a reason to live and to love again.
Only to discover what it is to be Otherwise.

My Rating 4.5 Stars

This is a captivating book that utterly caught and maintained my undivided attention throughout. I loved the gothic undertones and suspenseful way in which the story unfolded. I have never read a story before that is even remotely like this one – fresh subject matter that is presented within the framework of a technically superior, spellbinding read. Each character within the book is fully realized with motivations and personalities that I could easily understand and relate to, even when those traits were wholly out of the realm of any of my own personal experiences. I was fascinated and repelled by the hoarder, for example.

Delilah is a complex individual who seems confounded by the situation in which she finds herself. She has suffered heart-breaking loss, is alone, and sometimes seems to be totally invisible. In spite of her general clueless nature, she is likable and sympathetic, and I was 100% “for her” as she struggles to come to terms with her situation and unravel the mystery that seems to have such a stranglehold on her. The friends she meets often seem to be at cross-purposes to each other, but they all play an indelible role in her journey of discovery; they provide support and incentive she so desperately craves.

This is a book in which the division between life and death seems as thin as a strand of hair, as confusing as a muddled memory, and as transparent as a pane of glass. The complexity of the spiritual realm, existing right along side the physical plane, is handled with astute perception, and goes far in explaining what makes this story both inspiring and unforgettable.

Reviewed by Laurie-J for Night Owl Reviews

View all my reviews


Fairday Morrow said...

This sounds like a fascinating book. I think your review is well-written and it really intrigued me to pick this one up. I have added it to my TBR list. :)


Laurie said...

Hi Jess, Thanks for taking the time to comment. It'll be neat to see what you think.