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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Review: The Curse of Mayweather House

The Curse of Mayweather House
by Nancy Lee Shrader

Many of us enjoy Ghost Stories that frighten us and send us screaming into the night. The Curse of Mayweather House might be a Ghost Story, but love blooms brightly in the hearts of the undead — a love that has lasted over a century and will last through eternity. Leora Grace and Captain William Thomas Mayweather have searched the underworld of the dead, hoping that they would rediscover loves burning flame, that death's sting could not extinguish.

Demons lurk in the bowels of Mayweather House, enticing its victims into its dark maze of evil. This Evil has stalked Nancy Lee Abernathy her entire life, in an attempt to stop her from freeing the Mayweathers from the curse. With the aid of William and Leora Grace, Nancy Lee is spared the death that the demon planned for her on the day of her birth and all the other times during her life. Nancy Lee,
in turn will aid the ghosts in their quest for freedom.

A lengthy, discriptive prologue full of a rather sinister history begins this tale. It provides a background for the location, and introduces the narrator, (who haunts the property.) The action in this story takes place in and around "Mayweather House,' a house built above Devil's Bluff near Southhampton, England. The prologue is slow, but intriguing... and not entirely necessary.

In this twist on the classic haunting, the ghosts of Mayweather House must eventually reach out to the living, in a desperate effort to find freedom from their curse. The ghosts of Leora Grace and Captain William Mayweather cannot find one another, yet cannot escape the house; theirs is a double curse. The living person they reach, Nancy Lee Abernathy, is an amazing character that one immediately admires; determined, terrified, self-reliant, but also with some idea of what lay "behind the veil." She can sense a 'presence' from the first. She is not the 'classic' heroine type though, as she is not the beautiful young heroine, but an elderly, sad person who recognizes the burden of tragedy she carries. She is also reverent and respectful, and engages readers' sympathies immediately. Her one interest; she is intrigued by a puzzle, and involved with the supernatural. Through her, we hear the voice of long-dead Leora, and through her, we share the pain of separation and loss.

William and Leora may seem like the main characters in this tale, but in truth, this tale captures the lives of a number of characters, and all are important. There are fast moments here, action, as well as thrilling parts. On the whole however, this is a slow, thoughtful read, full of very good descriptions, insights, and emotions. The style seems old-fashioned, where words are meant to be savored and all the deeper meanings of events are meant to be understood.

This is a book for those who like a good ghost story, and who will slow down to enjoy a certain rich, descriptive quality in a work. This reader had difficulty assigning a number to this work as I don't imagine this will have broad appeal, but am giving it 4 books for its wonderful writing quality and great depth of story. Shrader's "The Curse of Mayweather House," is wonderfully original, intriguing and evocative.

Review by Snapdragon