A medium meets the perfect man, only to have nature intervene in this paranormal debut novel.
In 1893 in Cape May, New Jersey, Darthilda “Dar” Crossing is a skilled psychic who can see and communicate with spirits. Dar, who has an unusual mane of white hair, wishes for a life of freedom, but she grudgingly allows her mother, Virginia, to play matchmaker for her. The Crossings host a séance, attended by Indian businessman Rahul Kajaria, among others. Dar uses a Ouija board to speak with a ghost named Finn, who claims that love awaits her in the future. Later, Rahul begins teaching yoga to the Cape May ladies, and Dar learns that he can perform astral projection. The attraction between the two is intense, but Rahul has commitments back home in India. Still, he gives her a flower dictionary with a rose pressed inside, which offers a note of hope. After Dar helps Rahul get closure regarding his former fiancee, the two decide to run off together, but a massive storm prevents this. In this paranormal tale, Glenn effectively captures the historical milieu of 1893 America, several decades before interracial marriage was legal in every state. Her consistently sharp prose offers fine turns of phrase, such as “Dar was unaware that her beauty fell across the room like a shadow when she spoke.” When Glenn jumps to the modern day, a little over a third of the way through the novel, readers will feel a true jolt of loss regarding Dar and Rahul. Indeed, they may feel as if the second part is an entirely different book, as the modern-day story isn’t as compelling. In it, a young woman named Emily’s college application has just been rejected, and Elerick is a masseur who worked at her family’s Cape May bed-and-breakfast 10 years before. As they fall in love, they investigate the mysterious social network Orbies as Emily’s psychic talents make her a target for stalkers. They use the recovered flower dictionary for clues and investigate an Orbies user known as “EDGAR.”
A melancholy, engaging period piece that transforms into a less-effective present-day ghost hunt.