Melissa reviews Objects in the Rearview Mirror (Memoirs of the Human Wraiths #2) by F.E. Feeley Jr. Published February 5th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press, 200 pages.
Memoirs of the Human Wraiths
Their new home on Frederick Street in Clay Center, Kansas, was supposed to give writer Jonathan David and his husband, clinical psychologist Dr. Eddie Dorman, an opportunity to enjoy married life. Jonathan has just released his first major bestseller, and he hopes to finally escape his traumatic past and find the quiet existence he has always craved. Eddie has taken a job at the Kansas State University psychology department, and they intend to begin anew.
They have barely settled in when the nightmare begins. Noises, disembodied voices, and mysterious apparitions make Jonathan’s life hell. Part of the house has decided to bare its teeth, show its jagged edges, and bring back the worst of Jonathan’s past. At first, Eddie cannot perceive the spectral events and fears for his husband’s sanity. When he’s also affected by the haunting, he’s unsure of what to do but refuses to be beaten.
Together, they seek a way to fight the forces trying to tear them apart. The world is a frightening place, but confronting their fears plunges Jonathan and Eddie into absolute horror.
A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: By now you should know that I love angst in my MM romance. The angstier the better, and when I read the blurb about an established couple who are trying to save their marriage, what could be more angstier than that? Plus, ghosts? Woohoo!
I didn’t know what to expect with this story. The blurb doesn’t do the book justice. To start, this is not a horror story in any way. It is paranormal, but with romance, along with a child abuse (trying to move past it), alcoholism, cancer, murder and suicide. There is a lot going on in this story but nothing is overshadowed, and I could not put it down.
This is a stand-alone novel (even though it says it’s #2 in a series). Eddie and Jonathan are a married couple of ten years who have moved to Kansas for a fresh start. It’s not explained what happened before and why they need a fresh start, but it’s alluded to that they needed to get away from where they were living and those memories.
Jonathan is a writer and Eddie is a P.H.D psychologist. They love each other very much and that love comes across in every page, with every touch, with every look. They are about to be tested when the house they just bought turns out to be haunted, and those who are haunting them suffer from the same abusive past as Jonathan does.
I highly recommend this story if you love a good redemption story. The ghosts are tormented and trapped in a loop with no idea how to get out. We are shown pieces of their life through a neighbor, Maggie, who befriends Jonathan and Eddie. It’s a tragic story, but it does have a happy ending. Jonathan and Eddie are thankful that opportunities presented just when they needed them to as a way to move forward in their relationship. Eddie is very thankful that Jonathan is not going crazy and simply being haunted (yeah, that’s something to be thankful for, for sure; scary but at least he isn’t crazy!) As I said, there is paranormal activity, but I enjoyed it; it’s not scary, IMO. In the end, it is the ghosts who are forever thankful to Jonathan who helped them get out of their tormented Ever Afterlife.
There are possible triggers, child abuse, alcoholism, cancer, murder, suicide, as well as a brief struggle with possible mental psychosis. The writing is very well done and handles each of these situations with the respect they each deserve. It all felt very genuinely expressed.
As a young man, reading took center stage in his life, especially those novels about ghosts, witches, goblins, and all the other things that went bump in the night. His favorite authors include such writers as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice, whose work allowed him to travel to far off places and meet fascinating and scary characters. As a gay man, he wishes to be able to write good fictional literature for those who love the genre and to write characters that readers can relate to. All in all, he is a cigarette smokin’, whiskey drinkin’, rock and roll lovin’, tattoo wearin’ dreamer of a man with a wonderful husband who puts up with his crap and lets him write his stories.