A Ghost Story I Shall Remember: Review of JESSAMINE by Shani Struthers

This is a novel that is remarkable in its natural, unhurried flow, as well as a hauntingly beautiful charm that births from making its surroundings, along with its past, equally vital characters in the story. The only other time I have been this enchanted by such a tale was when I first watched the movie, Ghost Story (1981), which achieves a similar narrative tapestry.

Just like the simple, eerie painting that Struthers makes into a minor character, everything in this well-crafted novel is unveiled in a seamless, less-is-more, gentle ghosting of the reader. While all the characters are appropriately developed, Jessamine, Stan, and Finn are particularly well done. I can even still hear Finn’s voice after the novel has ended. The personal character growth of Stan, but especially Jessamine and Finn, is impressive. The scenery adds such integral setting to the novel, and is so well described, I find myself desperately wanting to visit Scotland and its lochs. Furthermore, the main house of the novel ranks up there with top haunted house settings. Finally, I really enjoyed the way the ghosts in this book add chills without going too far. And the denouement is as beautiful as it is deft.

What a delightful novel. One I shall remember.

Yours in literature,


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