SWALLOWTAIL by Sheri Meshal

SWALLOWTAIL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In Meshal’s debut novel, a loving wife and mother must find a way to comfort her family after a traumatic loss: her own disappearance.

Claire Cummings starts her workday at a small-town bank with a discovery that her close friend and colleague has absconded with millions of dollars of the bank’s money. Claire feels betrayed and deeply shaken when she comes under suspicion and is suspended from her job. The next day, while trying to chase down a stray cat in a parking lot, Claire is hit by a car and killed. However, the peace she feels on “the other side” shatters when she realizes that her family and friends don’t know she is dead—they only know that she’s missing. She uses all of her new supernatural abilities to place signs in order to communicate to them where she is, but she soon finds that she has to defy the new rules of her celestial world. Meshal tells a beautifully nuanced story. Throughout, she weaves intriguing details into a compelling story; for example, it turns out that Em, Claire’s youngest daughter, can repeat what her mother says from beyond, but because she has a speech impediment, the messages aren’t always understood by others. Also, just when it seems that the initial embezzlement subplot has been forgotten, it returns with a supernatural twist. Meshal skillfully blends past lives, celestial lives and earthly lives in ways that never feel forced, and she doesn’t rush her characters into self-discovery but seamlessly leads them there. In the end, the story builds to an unexpected, powerful climax.

A captivating novel about love, redemption and the supernatural.

Pub Date: Dec. 15th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1481161664
Page count: 354pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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