Description (from cover):
‘From the award-winning author of In the Shadow of Blackbirds comes a stunning new novel–a masterfully crafted story of love, loss, and second chances. Set during the fear and panic of the Great Influenza of 1918, The Uninvited is part gothic ghost-story, part psychological thriller, perfect for those who loved The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield or The Vanishing by Wendy Webb.
Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days.
But Ivy’s life-long gift–or curse–remains. For she sees the uninvited ones–ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War.
Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her “uninvited guests” begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold.
The Uninvited is an atmospheric, haunting, and utterly compelling novel.’
It is 1918 at the height of the “Spanish Influenza” epidemic in a small town in rural Illinois. Ivy Rowan wakes up from being sick and close to death with the flu. She awakes to her father and younger brother storming into the house with blood on their hands. Ivy’s mother confronts the two and they learn that Ivy’s father and brother have just beat a man to death with their bare hands. Ivy leaves the house devastated by this behavior and determined to get as far away as possible. She soon learns that the man murdered, was a local German shop owner in the nearby town. Ivy decides that she should atone for the sins of her family and sets off to face the German man’s brother to do anything to make things right. She soon begins a confusing and guilt-ridden friendship with the brother, Daniel. Ivy learns about freedom and how limited that is with all of the sickness surrounding her. She soon meets a war widow that she rents a room from and begins volunteering with the local Red Cross helping the sick and needy. Ivy is haunted by the German man’s death and the sadness and death around her. She begins seeing spirits more frequently and she becomes concerned. The spirits have only shown themselves when they are bringing news of death close to Ivy and her family. Does this mean that more death will hit close to home? Ivy struggles day in and day out with guilt and does anything she can to make that go away.
This book was utterly amazing. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read this book in one night. No lie. I stayed up late reading this book because I could not go to sleep without knowing what happened. The ending was a twist that I never saw coming. I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction, paranormal fiction or just a great book period. This book will appeal to all readers because the words flow from the author’s pen onto the page with such eloquence. This book was beautifully crafted and well put together. I am simply raving about this book because it was such a shock to read something so moving and powerful. It is a little different, but it is unique and beautiful in ways that I cannot even describe. If I lose sleep over a book, well that is saying something because I love sleep.
The story of Ivy is rich in detail and emotions. Death surrounds Ivy at every turn and she has to learn to keep pushing through or be swallowed by the darkness. This story tells the tale of grief, survival and determination. The author did such a phenomenal job with this book that I was left utterly speechless. I was so sad to see it come to an end. I am not surprised that this author won awards for her other novel In the Shadows of Blackbirds. If that book is anything like this book, well I have found a wonderful new author to read. I placed In the Shadows of Blackbirds on hold at the library because well I just have to read it now. If you want to read a book that will captivate you and make you really think about life, then this is a must read for you. Do not miss out on reading this book.
Overall Rating: 5+
Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.