Friday, August 2, 2013


Title:  Eloise
Author:  Judy Finnigan
Publication Information:  Redhook Books. 2013. 384 pages.

Book Source:  I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The book arrived as a galley to be read via Kindle.

Favorite Quote:  "Intuition is a powerful thing, especially when it's linked to love and care."

Eloise, the character for whom this book is named, is dead. As the book begins, we learn that she lost her battle with cancer a year ago. Surviving Eloise are her husband Ted, her two young daughters, her mother, and her best friend Cathy. Cathy struggles with depression and is recovering from a complete breakdown. Surrounding Cathy are her husband Chris and her children - all of whom are concerned about Cathy's mental state.

Add to the story some supernatural elements and a secret from Eloise's past. Eloise begins haunting Cathy from beyond the grave. Cathy feels that there is something Eloise wants her to do to protect her young daughters. The reactions of those around Cathy range from understanding to disbelief and from anger to ongoing concerns about her sanity. Her concern for Eloise begins to harm her own marriage and her children. Her recovery from her breakdown is threatened.

The book started off as a supernatural thriller - a fun page turner. I was willing to suspend disbelief in the subject matter to go along for the ride. The book kept me guessing as to what Eloise wants Cathy to do. Her statement to not trust "him" kept me guessing as to which character it referred. Chris's treatment of Cathy - whether out of concern or not - bothered me. The characters and the story seemed to be developing towards an unexpected ending. All these elements kept me engaged in the book.

Unfortunately, then, the book came to a rather abrupt end and an obvious (to me) denouement - the answers to the questions unfortunately were the obvious one. Issues and relationships were resolved too simply and in some cases, unrealistically. I felt let down at the end of the book, wishing there was something more developed and more thoughtful. Still an enjoyable read but not a great one.

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