Maybe This Time - Jennifer Crusie An enjoyable novel – a mix between a romantic tale, a ghost story, and a murder mystery, spiced with a pinch of humor.
Recently I read a blog post by the author, Jennifer Crusie. She complained that her juice was gone, and only skills remained. After reading this book, I must respectfully disagree. The juice is still flowing, even overflowing.
The story follows the protagonist Andie into a load of troubles. First, she is still in love with her ex-husband, the workaholic lawyer North she divorced ten years ago. Second, he asked her to take care of his two young wards – the orphaned children of his dead cousin – at least for a month… or two… or whatever it takes… and she can’t say ‘no’ to North. Third, the children live in the middle of nowhere, in a haunted house, and the resident ghosts of the house have their own agenda.
As Andie dealt with the belligerent ectoplasms, endured an old, cantankerous housekeeper, and tried to keep in line a horde of uninvited houseguests, I couldn’t close the book. I swallowed it in less than two days, and every minute of reading was soaked with tension and punctuated with laughter. It’s amazing how the author managed to combine the two contradictory ingredients into a delightful whole.
The contradiction also applies to Andie, a lively, caring young woman, thrown into the middle of the ghoulish derring-do by her love for her ex and her compassion for the two lonely children. With her finely-tuned common sense, Andie knows that ghosts don’t exist. Shouldn’t exist. But she also knows these particular ghosts are real. She can see them, talk to them, and she is sure they are dangerous. If she wants to help the kids, she must take the ghosts seriously.
The ghosts also continuously drive the action, which isn’t simply fast-paced. It runs helter-skelter, with a new obstacle arising every several pages. The dialog is quick and witty. The descriptions are kept to a minimum, but the moody, four-hundred-years-old house, transplanted from England together with its ghosts by an eccentric great uncle, rises from the pages to haunt the readers’ dreams. And the multitude of quirky characters are all surprisingly real and utterly diverse, especially the ghosts. A wonderful read.