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Success Stories

by Eleanor Roth


ISBN 1-9326595-15-X
Treble Heart Books, 2005
226pp, paperback
Retail price $12.95

Eleanor Roth combines youth and age in an intriguing story of paranormal experience. The story entwines the lives of two people who need each other, but one is alive and the other dead. Margaret sets out on a road of self discovery while Zeke seeks a redemption to set him free.

The author’s style is easy to follow as the conversation flows naturally from the real to the paranormal. Her characterizations, especially of Zeke, are vivid and charged with adventure.

The story grabs your attention right from the start. The main character, Margaret, is a 27 year old depressed, withdrawn and socially awkward college professor in a small New England college when she receives an unexpected marriage proposal from Roger, the prestigious president of a local bank. The reader is brought into the action when Margaret hears a masculine voice command, "Don’t do it, girl! Don’t say yes!" From that point you learn about "Zeke," the mysterious elderly cowboy and catalyst for change in Margaret’s future. She tries to continue her unassuming life, but Zeke helpfully leads her forward with his constant advice, even as he confesses his deeds and misdeeds while he lived.

Zeke guides Margaret into meeting his living family. Zeke’s adult children are stunned by this stranger’s uncanny knowledge of their deceased father and her strange continuing relationship with him. At this point the reader becomes engaged with Zeke’s rambling stories and how they affect Margaret’s image of herself. Margaret, as well as the reader, wonders-- is Zeke living through Margaret, or is Margaret living through Zeke?

As Margaret ventures into bold and other-worldly directions, the dark cloud of depression and fear that has always enveloped her suddenly lifts. Gradually, she blossoms into a woman she never thought she could be. As new people enter her life she begins to travel and approaches life differently than in the past. When she enters into a thrilling romance she fears that her whirlwind lifestyle could come to an abrupt halt-- unless she finds out the truth about Zeke.

A reader would like this story because it is differs from the usual romance novel where boy meets girl, a conflict ensues, a resolution results in a happily-ever-after ending. This book has a different twist. Only at the end will the reader discover what can never be, and why.


Open Book

Review by Nancy Golas-Flinn Ludwin