Tag: Aida Brassington

Guest Review: Between Seasons by Aida Brassington

Posted December 2, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Tracy’s review of Between Seasons by Aida Brassington

There are things Patrick Boyle will never forget: the sound of his own neck breaking at the moment of his death in the fall of 1970, the sweet taste of his mother’s chocolate cake, and the awful day his parents abandoned him in his childhood house-turned prison.

Nineteen-year-old Patrick wonders for decades if God has forgotten all about him or if he’s being punished for some terrible crime or sin over a lovely forty years trapped in an empty home. But when Sara Oswald, a strange woman with a mysterious past, buys his house, old feelings reawaken, and a new optimism convinces him that she’s the answer to his prayers.

Things are never simple, though, especially when she begins channeling the memories of his life and death in her writing.

The book begins with our hero’s death. It’s not really like anything Patrick would have expected but he’s only 19 so he really hadn’t given it all that much thought. He’s a bit freaked by watching everything that goes on around him yet no one can hear him.

His mother states after the funeral that she just needs to get away. Not on vacation and not moving to another town nearby – she doesn’t even want to be in the state. She loved her only child Patrick and she can’t stand to be anywhere near where he died. While reading about Patrick and his thoughts on death was emotional for me, reading about Patrick’s parents leaving the house just about brought me to tears. He could actually touch, feel and move around those things that were his in life and he begins to hide things so that his mother and father won’t take them with them.

We read about Patrick and his time alone when no one is in the house. He’s tried multiple times to get out of the house via door or window but he just loses consciousness, so to speak, and wakes up 5 hours later. The time that Patrick spends reading his few books over and over and trying to figure out why he’s there and did God forget him – or if there even is a God – is incredibly moving. I know he’s dead but in the story he’s more like a living being and the loneliness just breaks my heart.

Then one day a woman comes to the house. He thinks she’s really pretty and lo and behold, she’s bought the house. He finds out that his parents couldn’t bear to sell the house and for various reasons it has stood empty for 40 years. Patrick is shocked that so much time has passed but he’s so very interested in the new owner, Sara. What starts out for Patrick as a crush on Sara turns into full blown love. I did have to pause a bit at this point as I wasn’t sure if it was just his feelings of love because of being alone so long or a young crush but the author really put my mind at ease on this one and I was soon once again flowing with the story.

Sara has a history of what is considered mental illness by her family. She’s not crazy but she has cause to doubt herself. She talks to herself all the time – which is great for Patrick of course – but she soon sees a face in the mirror and can feel Patrick’s “touch.” One night things change and suddenly she can hear Patrick speak. She thinks she’s really lost it but when eventually she can see him as well she just goes with the flow. The question is – how does a relationship between a woman and a man-ghost continue and how does she explain it to her family.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up the book. The blurb had really caught my eye and I was anxious to see what happened between Sara and Patrick.

I very much liked Patrick from minute one. He had a great sense of humor and though there were many things he couldn’t understand about modern technology (once Sara moved in with her cell phones and her iPod) he just went with the flow. He was a romantic guy and I loved reading about his desire to really take Sara out on a date or go pick her flowers – but he couldn’t. He was a gentleman and I just wanted everything to work out in his favor – even if he was a ghost!

Sara took a bit of getting used to as I wasn’t sure what her story was at first. Her background before moving to the house was a bit sketchy at first and when I did find out what had happened before she had moved there I just felt horrible for all she’d gone through. She showed that she was a loving and compassionate woman and, obviously, open-minded. She had no idea where the relationship between Patrick and herself would go but she was more than open to just about any possibility.

Then there were the secondary characters. One was Patrick’s ex-girlfriend, Ginny, who was a great character both in 1970 and in 2010. She was kind and thoughtful and though a bit hesitant about ghosts she went with the flow. Then there was Sara’s sister, Jules, who was, in my opinion, the crazier of the two sisters! She was not a supportive woman and imho didn’t treat her sister all that well. She was quick to call Sara crazy and want her institutionalized. I so wish that Jules could have heard Patrick because he had a few things to say to the woman! lol

I can’t tell you everything that happened with Sara and Patrick because it’s truly something you need to read on your own – but it’s well worth the time and money to do so. It was a really great book about love, possibilities and devotion.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Green Needle Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

What I Read Last Week

Posted November 21, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 8 Comments

This week was another relatively relaxed week. No fires or smoke in the microwave so that was a plus! (Although that smell is still lingering every time we turn on the microwave!). The girls and I just watched movies yesterday and had fun hanging out and being cozy while it rained outside.
The highlight of my week was on Saturday the hubby and I went to a monumental event – my friend Claire’s 100th birthday party. She turned 100 on Nov. 16th and on the day of the party she told us she was 103. We just kind of looked at her funny and she said, “I’m 100 years and 3 days old and I want credit for every minute of it!” lol She’s so funny – and wonderful – and adorable – and I just can’t say enough about how much I love this woman. She has led an amazing life – she was a public health nurse and was in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. She’s lived in the Philippines, Hong Kong & Hawaii (and Hawaii is one of her favorite places on earth hence the lei’s) as well as many other places in Asia while raising two great sons. She’s taken adventures and just lived a full and happy life. It was a great party and I was so glad I was asked to be a part of it. Here we are enjoying ourselves on Saturday night:
On to the reading…
I started the week with In the Eye of the Beholder by Beverly Cialone. This was the second book that I had read by this author and it was incredibly similar to the first in extreme ways. You can read my reviews for both of this authors books here. 1.5 out of 5
Next up was the book I read for my TBR Challenge which was Heart of Fire by Linda Howard. This was the story of an expedition in the Amazon and a romance that happens along the way. I really liked this book a lot and loved the hero, Ben. I may have to steal his ass from Rowena and Holly. You can read my review here. 4.5 out of 5
Next up was the third book in the Limit War Series by Nico Rosso, The Limit of Desire. This was about a Jessa and Ryder who have had a fling and enjoyed every moment of it but Jessa is Ryder’s commanding officer and though Ryder wants more from the relationship Jessa is hesitant due to many reasons. You can read my review of this very good book here. 4.0/4.25 out of 5
Love, Come to Me by Lisa Kleypas is a re-release that I read for The Book Binge. This book was originally written in 1988 and one of her earliest works. I very much could tell the incredible changes that have been made in her writing since she first began. I actually had to remind myself a couple of times who the author was! The story was right after the Civil War and is about a southern man falling in love with a northerner. They have their many ups and downs and of course a huge lack of communication but eventually work it out. I liked the book but it was definitely my least favorite of Kleypas’s work so far. 3 out of 5
Between Seasons by Aida Brassington was another book that I read for The Book Binge. This was the story of 19 year old Patrick who dies in his home back in 1970. He becomes a ghost there and the story tells of him from 1970 until 2010 (not EVERYTHING! lol) when someone new buys the house. Patrick falls in love with the new homeowner and aches because he can’t be with her in human form. Strange things happen and soon not only can the homeowner, Sara, hear him but she can eventually see him. It’s a bizarre but beautiful tale of love and I very much enjoyed reading it. 4.5 out of 5
Next was the novella, Hopes and Fears, by Rowan Speedwell. This is a follow up story of Brian McCarthy from Finding Zach. Brian has finished his book about Zach but now he’s living in Chicago and trying to deal with his life and the different feelings he’s trying to work through. He meets Jerry who is his physical therapist and is completely interested. Brian however only does hook-ups/one night stands and Jerry only dates men he might consider being with long-term. The story is so good and the tale of their relationship and how the two men get together is just told incredibly well. If you read Finding Zach then I highly recommend you reading this one as well. 4.5 out of 5 (Thanks to Tam for telling me about this one!)
Last for the week was GhosTV by Jordan Castillo Price. I hate to say that this is my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week (yes, I’ve been sadly falling down on the job with this personal challenge lately) but I have had it for a while. This is book 6 in the series and while I didn’t like it quite as well as the last few it was still very good. The story was about Vic and Jacob heading to California when they find out that their friend Lisa is missing from her school, PsyTrain. They have to deal with people they don’t care to deal with, Vic meets up with someone from his past which is a shock and there are more than a few surprises in the book (not to mention kind of cliff-hanger at the end). It was a really well written and engaging and a definite read if you’ve read books 1-5. (In fact, if you haven’t read books 1-5 then don’t read this one as you’ll be completely lost! lol) 4.25 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!