Unsettling, poignant, haunting, and, thoroughly engrossing…
Supernatural and real-life drama collide in Stone’s latest paranormal tale. Frances Tarantino’s mother lost her life to a tragic car accident, but she never left Fran’s side: her spirit is always there to sooth her and protect her. When Fran came to live with her mother’s sister and her family, fitting in proves to be a difficult process, especially with the relentless bullying at her older cousins’ hands. But her mother’s there to protect her. A ray of hope arises after Fran learns that her father’s aunt has named her as her heir. But things are not as they seem: along with enormous riches, Fran has also inherited a terrible family secret. Will she be able to break the curse? Told in crisp, assured prose, this is a raw, powerful, and poignant depiction of emotional and mental trauma, sexual violence, incest, pain, grief, love, familial bonds, and relationships. The structure of the novel heightens the tension, as both the protagonists’ ongoing stories unravels new revelations until the narrative arrives at its tense, satisfying ending. Readers get a vivid picture of Fran and Aurora, both trying to cope with the circumstances of their lives while expressing the hope, fear, uncertainty, and love that all humans share. The tragedy in Fran’s life, her time with her cousins, her mother’s continuous presence, and Aurora’s relentless dilemma provide an excellent backdrop. Stone further develops his protagonists, pushing them to new maturity and depth. The supporting characters are equally well-drawn and compelling. The remote gothic setting provides the atmospheric backdrop for the crux of the story. The story of how Aurora finds strength in the face of her horrendous circumstances is vividly rendered and wholly plausible. But it’s what happens when Fran realizes she has to take control of the whole situation if she wants to get rid of the family curse, that makes this novel so compelling and readable. The subjects of rape, sexual violence, incest, infatuation are familiar ones in literature, but Stone’s immersive storytelling effortlessly weaves supernatural elements with an unsettling and surprising coming-of-age story. With a memorable group of protagonists, atmospheric setting, and profound emotion and supernatural intrigue, this thought-provoking novel raises important questions about familial ties, trust, physical and mental abuse, long-term trauma, grief, obsession, death, and afterlife. Readers will be eager to see what Stone pulls off in the next in the series.
A Perfect Night
(The Haunted Women Book 1)
Pub date June 17, 2022
Price $3.95 (USD) Kindle edition