Rita H Rowe’s “Dancing With Ghosts” is a fairly traditional ghost story, with a dash of romance. Readers of either genre are likely to enjoy it.
Alexandra has fled Melbourne and the love of her life, Nicholas. At Lovelet Manor, some hours from Melbourne, she finds a job, a home, and maybe a refuge.
However, it quickly becomes evident that it will not be quite the restful place to recover that she hoped for. Rory and Cheryl, her employers, are welcoming and friendly, but distracted by their eldest daughter’s illness. Indeed, they’re so distracted that their younger daughter often looks to Alex for companionship.
And then there’s Edward. Alex quickly realises that Edward is a ghost, but is less certain of his intentions. She’s terrified by how he makes her feel. That terror doesn’t reduce as her feelings soften into love: if anything, it scares her more.
Can Alex truly build a relationship with a ghost? Can she repair the past damage to her heart?
Most readers will find this an entertaining and undemanding story of love lost and found. Although a ghost is central to the story, the supernatural elements of the story touch it lightly, and Rowe focuses more on the personalities involved.
Alex is a character who comes to life slowly, but then engages the reader fully. In a way, it’s like getting to know someone in real life. It’s easy to understand her thoughts and emotions. And if some readers feel she’s over-reacted to events in her past? She’d hardly be the first to have a life long trauma seeded by events in their youth.
Other characters similarly take a while to emerge, but are generally believable. I thought Rowe’s depiction of Netty’s volatility, her swinging between being a lovely girl and a cranky patient, particularly accurate. The depiction of her illness and its’ treatment is pretty light, but it’s also not a big part of the novel, which explains why Rowe glosses over it.
Similarly I felt that the depiction of the gulf between Netty’s parents, and their disparate reactions to her illness, was very real and a strength for the novel.
This was an entertaining, straight forward story with an ending that was both satisfying and believable in the context of the novel. A lot of romance readers will enjoy it, and so will those who like a light touch of the supernatural in their reading. Despite some initial difficulty getting into it, it ultimately proved to be readable and enjoyable.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Dancing With Ghosts by Rita H Rowe. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember, and I love sharing that joy.
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, across all genres. There’s not much I won’t at least try. I’ve been an enthusiastic book reviewer for years. I particularly enjoy discovering writers new to me, and sharing good writing with others.
My career has included time spent writing and editing technical documents, but it’s fiction that really moves me. I’ve reviewed for a number of different outlets over the years, and have been a judge in literary competitions.
I’m now raising little bookworms of my own, which brings a whole new kind of joy to sharing books.
More of my reviews can be found on my review blog www.otherdreamsotherlives.home.blog .