Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James
So continues by Simone St. James binge. Seriously, I was supposed to drag this out, until I could beg Simone St. James to let me read her new book coming out in 2018…but I blew it and binge read any book by her I could get my hands on. Can someone please put me in book timeout for this? Because I need it.
Anyway, in the beginning, I didn’t think this would be one of my favorites by her, but this is St. James we’re talking about, and of course, she proved me wrong with her ghostie goodness. Whyyyyyy. She puts my inner fangirl in a corner, crying and rocking back and forth.
Let’s go over to the Goodreads-sponsored summary and see the book that hurt my inner fangirl’s soul with too much goodness:
England, 1921. 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 origins…and the revelation of a mysterious death in the Forsyths’ past is just the beginning…
All 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 forever.
And then a familiar stranger arrives at Wych Elm House…
I really don’t know what it is, but Simone St. James just cuts to the heart of my reading. Her writing style is fantastic, the atmosphere is lush, and the plots and storylines are interesting and captivating. Plus, she has the whole Gothic, ghost thing down to a science.
This story is no different. Jo is, perhaps, my favorite St. James heroine so far. She doesn’t let anyone push her around, she’s independent as all get-up (even more than any other of St. James’s independent heroines), and she’s smart and spunky. She is depressed but rightfully so, and you can’t help but feel for her. She doesn’t let herself get walked over even in a world where women like her were. I loved that, and she instantly became a favorite heroine for me.
The side characters were fantastic as well. There were a lot of them, but a great deal of them were fully developed. Dottie, Martin, Alex, and Cora were all dynamic and intriguing, and even Robert and the ghosts, who kept disappearing. I was surprised by how much I felt for the side characters such as Martin and Dottie, since usually, it was just the two main characters I would root for.
I did see one of the surprises coming, but I mean, it was kind of obvious that it was coming. However, I did not see the major twists and turns coming, which was a nice surprise. I totally had no clue what happened to the ghost at the end and who was at fault. St. James had me guessing throughout and didn’t just do the cliche route, which was super cool.
The romance was perfect as well, and Alex and Jo were a dreamy couple…although they had their issues. I loved how much Jo discovered about Alex and perhaps realized that jumping into a relationship wasn’t the smartest idea. The relationship helped her to grow as a person, and I enjoyed that. There was one major issue that I had with the relationship toward the end, but I was in total fangirl mode at the end, so I really didn’t care what was happening besides me reading more of the book.
Again, St. James has managed to create a perfect ghost story filled with romance, intrigue, and the perfect spooky atmosphere. I was so in love…in case you somehow missed that. 😄 Another fantastic book, and St. James officially was added as my second favorite author on Goodreads (can we say, “Oooh” this lame achievement, lol)! A five crown and an Aurora rating for this lovely ghostie goodness book!
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read it or want to read it? Are there authors that have made your inner fangirl cry or put your book soul on a binge? Let me know in the comments below!