Guess I should have read the blurb a little better because this book was nothing like what I was expecting. I was expecting a ghost story based on the title, but there are no actual ghosts in the story until you are like 90% finished with it. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good book because it was. The first part of the book is set in France in the early 1880’s. By the time Adrienne, the protagonist in the book, turns 17 the story jumps to America and Manitou Springs, CO.
Adrienne has a special gift that she inherited from her maternal grandmother, not that that is a good thing. She is clairvoyant and has visions; sometimes of the future and sometimes of events that she could have absolutely no way of knowing anything about them. As she grows up her family tries to keep this gift under wraps so as to keep the gossip about her to a minimum. Her aunt Marie wants to do more than that, though. When Marie turns 17 her uncle Julien Morier, who is a priest in America, has just about finished his castle in Manitou Springs, CO and his mother, Aunt Marie, decides to take Adrienne to America with her in an effort to silence both her and her gift. She forces Adrienne into a life of servitude and changes her name to Henriette telling everyone she knows that Henriette is an excellent maid but has a tendency to make up fanciful stories and should not be believed no matter what she says.
Marie’s plan works too. She successfully silences Adrienne, but it all comes crashing down around her when Adrienne gets pregnant and the only possible person who could be the father is her priest son.
I won’t go into what else happens with Julien because if I tell you the whole story here there won’t be any reason for you to read this wonderful first novel by Elizabeth Hall. Julienne and Marie are both based on real people who lived around the turn of the 20th century and a few facts about their lives make it into the book, but for the most part this book is entirely fiction. I highly recommend it for lovers of historical fiction or anyone who just likes a good story.