The Widow of Saunders Creek by Tracey Bateman is a mixed bag of romance and ghost story; a story of loss and love; of demons and witches.
Corrie married dynamic Jarrod Saunders. He joined the military and went off to Iraq. Corrie and Jarrod were childless. After Jarrod died saving at least fifty lives, Corrie submerged into her grief as a war widow until Saunders Creek called her home. Her mother and her never got along–both have different agendas. Her mother is always trying to force her agenda on her daughter. Eli, Jarrod’s cousin and the contractor for the family home in which Corrie will be living, encounters Corrie drunk on the front porch having drunk an entire bottle of liquor. Thus, begins a long and complicated friendship.
Corrie’s life gets spooky. The house seems to have a life of its own and to Corrie’s mind, it feels like Jarrod’s ghost lingers in the house. Eli and his mother try to explain that ghosts don’t exist. It’s a demon that has been haunting the house since even his grandparent’s time. Eli’s Aunt Trudy, a woman involved in covens and Wicca, sees Corrie as a chance to draft another witch. Corrie is attracted to Aunt Trudy’s mystery and wants to believe that Jarrod is in the house, not a demon as Eli and his mother try to explain.
The story is well-written and mesmerizing. It was a page-turner. What a difficult situation for Eli to experience–falling in love with his cousin’s widow just six months after Jarrod died. His mother warns Eli to go easy as Corrie is still grieving. The blossoming romance and the heightening suspense made this novel five stars. It’s a classic ghost story and before I even read the author’s note, I knew Kristine McGuire’s research was in the novel as I had reviewed her book on the occult here.
*Book given by the publisher to review.