Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!
From the Author
“After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summons a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.
Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?
After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.”Amazon.com
“A Ghost and His Gold,” by Robbie Cheadle, was a pleasant surprise. The author takes us to South Africa, where Tom and Michelle Cleveland have recently purchased a house in the town of Irene. During a housewarming party and a chance encounter with a Ouija board, readers are drawn back to the era of the second Boer War where Great Britain’s army tried to regain what it lost in the first war. Somewhere along the way, the lure of gold and riches sets the stage for a ghost adventure like no other!
The Ouija board proves to be the catalyst that opens the door to the past. Michelle is the most receptive to the spirit world. When the others shrug off the temperature changes and the exploding bottles, Michelle senses the ghostly presence.
The next day, she researches the local history of the area and specifically the house they live in. Michelle makes some interesting discoveries, not only about the house but about Tom and how he lived the year before she met him. By the time Estelle (a supernatural ghost) makes her presence known, Michelle and Tom have collapsed into a paranormal hell.
Writing about ghosts can be tricky, and this author handles the paranormal aspects of the book well. Supernatural ghosts always have a past agenda to work through. They remain on the earthly plane until their personal trauma or unfinished business is resolved and they can pass into the light. Estelle, the ghost, makes Tom the target of her ire as the reader witnesses his descent into madness.
The historical aspects of the book are as well presented as the paranormal aspects. Cheadle retells the bloody horror of the Second Boer War in all its graphic detail. This history cements the different aspects of the story joining the past and the present into a cyclical supernatural event.
In the end, the story is really about family. We learn the story of the Boer farmer, Pieter, and his daughter Estelle’s tragic life. Estelle’s story is truly unforgettable. Be mindful that emotional abuse and trauma within family relationships could trigger some readers.
This book was so much more than a ghost story. It’s a complex read, dealing with many themes that mirror the present-day, including racism, rape, family issues, and much more. I struggled with my feelings throughout the book, and it felt like I had embarked on a roller coaster of emotion. However, I will not forget the characters, or what I learned about the Second Boer War or the history of Africa. I found the book to be an excellent read!
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