Saturday, November 25, 2017

Book Review: 'Please Release Me' by Rhoda Baxter

On the way to their honeymoon Sally and Peter argue and are involved in an accident. Peter recovers but Sally remains in a coma. A year later Peter is visiting the still comatose Sally in the hospice when he meets Grace who gets him involved in fundraising for the hospice. They feel an instant attraction to each other but both are aware of the unconscious woman who remains between them. A massive storm releases Sally’s spirit from her body, but only Grace can see her. Despite the conflict in Grace’s mind, the two become friends and the living becomes the go between for spirit and her husband.
The idea behind this story is unique. A ghost story without a true ghost. At times it becomes slightly light-hearted, although not especially funny. The inner workings of the minds of Peter, Sally and Grace show the anguish, jealousy, anger and restraint with remarkable clarity. Peter wants to become closer to Grace, but reminds himself he is married, even if his wife might never recover. Grace feels guilt at the possibility of becoming the “other woman”. Sally… well, the woman/spirit is unique. Determined not to lose her husband she puts all obstacles in the way.
The story has just the right amount of conflict, love and remorse and these all come together to make a wonderful read. A bit slow to start, but I am so glad I persevered as the tale opened like a flower’s petals revealing a richness of characters and plot which are seldom found in a contemporary romance.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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