Friday, March 2, 2018

Book Review: 'Gypsy Life' by Andrea Drew

Australian author Andrea Drew (though a search of the internet finds that she was born in Stockton on Tees England, The United Kingdom!) has enjoyed success as a commercial copy writer and resume writer for over a decade, writing for celebrity stylists, assisted business coaches and start-ups, and has written grants for not for profits, delivered marketing presentations to business owners, and attends Australian writing conventions. Her very successful published books PRO RESUMES MADE EASY and GOVERNMENT JOB APPS MADE EASY validate her success in these regions. Pushing her writing strengths into a different arena finds her now writing fiction and mystery thriller fiction at that. Her debut book in this Gypsy Series was GYPSY HUNTED and the series continues with GYPSY LIFE, which is described now as a prequel to the series, offering background to Gypsy's early life.

GYPSY LIFE is set in Andrea's hometown of Melbourne, Australia and she introduces her main character with a bit more depth to her origin: `As a child growing up in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, I never thought of ghosts as strange or weird in any way, shape, or form (pardon the pun). My parents managed to knock out any predilection I had towards the spiritual and/ or ghostly world well and truly-- due to their own inbuilt terror of all matters nonphysical. If it couldn't be seen, touched, or observed by the majority of the population, then quite simply it didn't exist. Later in life, of course, I leaned much more toward the skeptical side on ghostly apparitions and things that go bump
in the night, but as events unfolded I had no choice --I had to accept I could do things other people seemingly couldn't.' Though her behavior is disturbing to her parents, reminding them of her Grandmother Dee, a Romani Gypsy - a bit `fae' (or crazy or insane) - Gypsy knows she is a psychic. She hears the spirit Alfred (she is the only one who can hear him) known for pestering the previous tenants of Gypsy's house. `If Leah hadn't asked for my help to `clear' her home out, everything would be just fine. Or as fine as it can get when your family thinks you're not quite right in the head. In this prequel, we learn not only of the years that formed Gypsy's character, but the mystery of the spirit that won't leave Gypsy alone.
When helping her sister Leah, whose home is haunted, Gypsy encounters an old man Silvano that needs her help. Can she solve the mystery and put a soul at rest?' Rich in atmosphere and written with an adroit skill for things `extra-ordinary', this novel works well indeed.

Andrea continues to demonstrate that she has skills that are unusually well honed for a paranormal fiction novel. She is able to propel a plot at times breathlessly while retaining that gift to insert comic relief to allow time for the reader to rev up for the continuing investigation. Skills such as these are rarely so well developed and this suggests (or assures) that Andrea Drew has found a vibrant new niche. Grady Harp, June 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. 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.