Monday, March 24, 2014

Cooper's Grove by Ann Werner

(Image found on Goodreads.)
"My time in the city had shown me I am a country girl at heart." -Ann Werner, Cooper's Grove

Cooper's Grove tells the story of Lucinda Mae Hawkins. At first when Lucinda takes up with the rich John Dawson, she feels love, but after a hasty marriage, she soon finds first love's bloom has worn off. But unable to leave, she bides her time. When finally able to leave, she finds herself brought back after a deadly illness strikes her husband. But John is not content to leave her be after his death. After making her miserable during their marriage, he continues to do so from beyond the grave. Especially when she finds love again. But how are you able to get rid of that which cannot be seen?

Cooper's Grove is told from the perspective of Agnes McPherson. It's quite an interesting choice, and one that makes it stand out. Not only that, but the way that Ann Werner tells the story through her, it seems as if you're visiting with your grandmother and she's telling you about the days when she was young. It's a comforting way to tell the tale, while still allowing the reader to get involved.
As a reader, I felt comfortable and I found myself smiling over little comments that people like to slip into conversation and something that Agnes as the narrator does, especially in the prologue and epilogue. It was an interesting way to tell the tale and I found that it drew me into the book with ease.

Not only that, but you find yourself hating and loving characters. At first you find nothing in John but a spoiled rich kid, who's forced to take his responsibilities. But towards the end of the novel, you learn that maybe that's not the only way he can be. Lucinda is a joy as is Agnes. Both have different personalities but ones that are interesting and lively. They really bring the story to life, and I found that I was always wondering what Agnes would say next or what would happen to Lucinda. Lucinda especially just seemed so sweet, and you can't help but root for her. 

The plot is interesting, especially because it shows the possessiveness of one man and how far he will take it. It's always interesting to see how different authors approach the paranormal and Ann Werner puts her own spin on it. I found myself questioning what I had previously assumed about ghosts, and it was very interesting in that way. 

All in all, if you're a fan of ghost stories, or love stories, than this book is for you. Give it a read and let me know what you think! Or if you've already read it, what did you think about it? Do you like stories about the paranormal or find yourself avoiding them?

-Shy Aly

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