From the author of The Uninvited comes a haunting historical novel with a compelling mystery at its core. A young child psychologist steps off a train, her destination a foggy seaside town. There, she begins a journey causing her to question everything she believes about life, death, memories, and reincarnation.
In 1925, Alice Lind steps off a train in the rain-soaked coastal hamlet of Gordon Bay, Oregon. There, she expects to do nothing more difficult than administer IQ tests to a group of rural schoolchildren. A trained psychologist, Alice believes mysteries of the mind can be unlocked scientifically, but now her views are about to be challenged by one curious child.
Seven-year-old Janie O’Daire is a mathematical genius, which is surprising. But what is disturbing are the stories she tells: that her name was once Violet, she grew up in Kansas decades earlier, and she drowned at age nineteen. Alice delves into these stories, at first believing they’re no more than the product of the girl’s vast imagination. But, slowly, Alice comes to the realization that Janie might indeed be telling a strange truth.
Alice knows the investigation may endanger her already shaky professional reputation, and as a woman in a field dominated by men she has no room for mistakes. But she is unprepared for the ways it will illuminate terrifying mysteries within her own past, and in the process, irrevocably change her life.
Three and a half stars: A book that is interesting, entertaining and filled with suspense, but it fell off the tracks with the final third and the ending.
Alice steps off the train in Gordon Bay, Oregon, to a horrendous rain storm. In an instant, she is soaked and hatless. Thankfully, Michael O' Daire is there to pick her up. During the drive, Michael reveals he has an ulterior motive for retrieving Alice. He has a daughter, Janie, whom he thinks Alice can help. Alice is a trained psychologist, fighting to find her way in a man's world. Since she can't get into the Ph.D program, and jobs are scarce for women, she travels around the country, testing school children for psychological problems. When Alice finally encounters Janie O'Daire, she is forced to abandon all she has ever learned in her schooling. Is it possible that Janie is a reincarnated soul? Can Alice solve the mystery?
What I Liked:
- Ms. Winters has become one of those go to authors for me. I love that her books are usually set in the early twentieth century, that they are on the West Coast, mostly in Oregon, and that they always have a touch of supernaturalism. Yesternight delivers a strange tale of reincarnation set in 1925 on the Oregon Coast. I was immediately hooked by this eerie and fascinating story.
- I loved exploring the whole concept of reincarnation. The story surrounding young Janie was interesting, and I was itching to get to the bottom of it. I enjoyed the journey, and I liked seeing Alice open her mind to new possibilities.
- I enjoyed the setting. I live in Oregon, so I am always thrilled to read a book set in my state. I loved going back in time to see what it was like to live in coastal Oregon early in the twentieth century. I thought Ms. Winters did a fantastic job with the setting, and the stormy coastal town of Gordon Bay added to the suspense.
- Even though I had some issues with Alice, I liked that she was an unconventional woman scrabbling to find her way in a male dominated field. I appreciated that she was driven and that she wanted to succeed.
- The mystery and the suspense in this one are excellent. I was immediately drawn in by Janie's strange story, and I liked that I was forced to accept the possibility of something supernatural. I was completely hooked by the story.
And The Not So Much:
- Sigh.... I loved this book so much up until the final third of the story. At that point, I felt like the book fell off the tracks as it shifts gears and takes up a secondary story line that was only briefly discussed along the way. I did not like this shift in the plot, and I hated the way things progressed. It all leads up to a shocking ending that didn't work for me. I know many people will like the twist at the end, but it wasn't for me. The book could have ended after the visit to Kansas as far as I am concerned, the rest it of it was just a mess.
- I was so disappointed in the ending. It left me with so many questions regarding the main story, I especially wanted to know what happened to Janie. It was a let down to follow her story the whole way, and then have it abandoned for the ridiculousness that was the end.
- I was so excited to finally get to Kansas so I could get the final piece to the puzzle, and then to have Alice walk away during some of the most critical moments was a big fizzle. I wanted to experience it all, and I wished that more time had been devoted to this portion of the story.
- Finally, even though I appreciated Alice fighting to find her way in a male dominated society, I didn't like her. I can't put my finger on what it was, but I just couldn't connect with her. She came across as a bit judgmental, especially when it came to Michael O'Daire. I also couldn't figure out what her sexual orientation was. There are some hints that she might be a lesbian, but that goes nowhere, and I was left wondering why all of that was even put in there, perhaps to further show that she was an unconventional woman when it came to sex as well? When Alice goes on her wild goose chase at the end, I lost all patience with her. The character that I did like was her sister, Bea, and I wished that she had a larger role in the book.
Yesternight was a book that I was loving and devouring right up until the final portion. At that point, the story shifts in a new direction, abandoning the original plot line all together. I hated the ridiculousness of the final chapters, and I could have done without the twist at the end. Some people will like it, but for me it was a complete miss. This is so unfortunate because up until that point in the book, the story was excellent. This is a book I would like to recommend because I mostly loved it, but I was so put off by the ending, that I can't. This is a book you should try because it is fascinating and it features a touch of supernatural. However, I would recommend borrowing it from the library.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.