The Haunting of Springett Hall, by E.B. Wheeler
Cedar Fort (2015), Kindle edition, 256 pages
A lovely, entertaining little ghost story. There is nothing startlingly original, but as an enjoyable waste of time, it works very well indeed. Lucy is a young woman who wakes up as an apparent ghost in the English manor house of Springett Hall with no memory of her life. After frustrating attempts to communicate with people who can neither see or hear her, to he relief she discovers that the heir to the hall can perceive her, although he regards her as his muse. More tellingly, the handsome young gamekeeper Phillip can also perceive her, and although he has no memory, its clear they were bound together in some way in their previous lives. They discover they are bound by a curse laid down by the evil former owner of the hall, who even in death, is able to command other spirits, animals and even the hall staff to obey his bidding. Lucy and Phillip embark on a race against time to recover their memories and to find a way to break the curse. Along the way, they gradually fall in love despite the impossibility and danger of their situation. As I said, nothing really original, but it all works in its modest way. Lucy and Phillip are likeable protagonists, feisty, resourceful and determined. Their love develops quite naturally with the usual Victorian moral stutterings and inhibitions, and the reader will empathize with their plight, the impossibility of romance between a spirit and a living person. There are some genuinely spooky moments, and the denouement is suitably hair-raising and tense, but there’s a happy ending of sorts as a payoff. I really enjoyed this book. As a cheap Kindle download that gives you a couple of hours of light reading pleasure, its a bargain whatever way you look at it. Good stuff.