Title: Love’s Refrain – a Victorian Ghost Story
Author: Steven Glick
Publication Date: December 18, 2018
Genres: LGBTQ, Paranormal, Historical
Length: 100 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 3 Stars
A ghost from the past. A chance meeting in the present. A terrifying séance. Charlotte Stanton’s perfect married life is turned upside down when a secret love she buried long ago hauntingly returns. Still the question remains: are the supernatural events intruding upon Charlotte’s life happening only in her mind? Is she heading down a path toward madness? Set in Boston’s Gilded Age and accompanied by period drawings and silhouettes, LOVE’S REFRAIN explores one woman’s search for love, and the power of the past to emancipate the present.
It’s never too late to make things right.
Charlotte stirred up so many different emotions in me. Sometimes I felt endless empathy for her, while in other scenes I shook my head in frustration at how naive and sheltered she was. Surely the average adult would have figured out some of the stuff that she found so confusing much faster than she did! With that being said, I appreciated how nuanced her personality was, and I’d much rather read about a realistically flawed character than someone who always made the right decision. The more I got to know her, the more I liked her. If the author ever writes a sequel, I’d sure like to follow along on more of her journey.
I would have loved to see more details included in this story. For example, we never learned how Charlotte met her husband or what killed the ghost who was haunting Charlotte. That cause of death could have been a good way to get to know the deceased and explain why she was so attached to the protagonist. I also had some questions about the ending as far as the practicalities of life Charlotte would need to face after the final scene was wrapped up. While I can’t go into detail about that without giving away spoilers, it was yet another moment in this tale when having more details would have made the storyline richer in my opinion.
Spiritualism is one of those topics that I don’t think is discussed enough in fiction, especially in paranormal stories set in the late 1800s. I was pleased to see how much attention it received here. Whether you already know a lot about this movement or nothing at all, don’t worry. The most important details will be spelled out clearly, and everything else will be a happy bonus for those of us who do have preexisting knowledge of it. Some of the most interesting scenes were the ones that explored the various responses to the spiritualist movement from different portions of society. Many different points of view were represented, and I thought the author did a good job of showing why so many people were drawn to it and what they hoped to get out of speaking to their dead loved ones.
Love’s Refrain – a Victorian Ghost Story made me smile.