EARLY REVIEWS FOR OLIVIA’S GHOST…
Reviews from author friends whom I admire and respect are coming in for my third literary suspense novel, Olivia’s Ghost, recently released by Winter Goose Publishing. Thank you each of them for taking time to read my book and comment on it. All of these authors have wonderful books out that I highly recommend for your reading pleasure.
From Eldon Thompson (eldonthompson.com) author of the fantasy series The Legend of Asahiel… “A powerful portrayal of love and loss… With Olivia’s Ghost, author Kathryn Mattingly once again uses rich language and a keen interpretation of human emotion (and human frailty) to carry the reader through a poignant adventure of the heart. I can’t imagine the anguish that must stem from losing a child, yet Mattingly’s descriptions in this tale are so frank, so earnest, so heartfelt, that I came much closer than I would ever want to. She made me feel just how empty and devastating such a loss would be. She made me want to be there with these characters to commiserate with them, console them, grieve with them. She made me want to believe, as her protagonist does, that there must be some other answer, some misinterpretation of events that would allow for something more than the harrowing, hollowing truth.
As with all of Mattingly’s stories, there is a mystery here that demands resolution. But the true strength of the story, the common thread in the Mattingly books I’ve read, are the questions of love and loyalty. What must it do to a marriage, this greatest of losses? How does each person reconcile it, privately and together? At the peak of our vulnerability, what choices do we make in search of sustenance and support? The moral ambiguities presented in this tale raise dramatic questions difficult to answer. Which in turn heightens the tension. Whichever end you might be rooting for, it becomes hard to blame the characters should they choose an alternate path. Which meant I had no idea how it all might end, and was thus glued to the pages with anticipation.
As inherently, necessarily painful as much of the tone of this story is throughout, I found the ending highly satisfying. Heart-wrenching, yes, but true and organic to the events come before it. As with many writers, it’s been great fun to see Mattingly’s growth and maturity as a storyteller from one volume to the next, and I can’t wait to see what next she has in store.”
Virginia Simpson drvirginiasimpson.com author of The Space Between: A Memoir of Mother-Daughter Love at the End of Life…“In Olivia’s Ghost award winning author Kathryn Mattingly has again created a complex and entertaining story with a heroine who makes us question what is real and what is the wishful fantasy of a mother whose child has been tossed overboard in a squall and never found. Despite the challenges to her marriage and the disbelief of friends and family, who question her very sanity, Olivia holds onto her mother’s intuition as she searches to find and bring her daughter home. A riveting story that will keep you entertained from the first page until the last.”
From Sally Cook, author of Catch Them if You Can and The Sky is Falling…“Wonderful book! Kathryn Mattingly wrote a captivating story, one of tears and joy. I reached a point where I could not stop reading. Her beautiful descriptions of the Central Oregon Coast took me back to where we once lived. Her books never fail to be a good read. Benjamin should have been on the NYBest Seller List. I easily set aside a book I was reading from the NY Best Seller List to read Olivia’s Ghost.”
From Amy Rivers author of Wallflower Blooming…“Olivia’s Ghost is the story of a mother pushed to her breaking point by grief, whose unrelenting hope and intuitive strength become the catalyst for untangling the wreckage of profound loss. An intricate story of determination, Mattingly has woven a tale with complex, relatable characters that you can love and agonize with.”
From Chuck Barrett Bestselling author of BLOWN…“From it’s tragic beginning to its gripping conclusion, Olivia’s Ghost takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. From never-ending love, to love lost, to rekindled love, Mattingly keeps you entwined in her character’s lives as they search for a meaning to their loss, and in which direction the future will lead them.”
From Jesse Weiner author of Uncommon Blood… “Mattingly uses evocative imagery and stunningly beautiful prose to weave a deliciously tangled web of frustrated and conflicting desires. Livy’s maddening obsession with the quest to find her daughter, the latent sexual tension between Olivia and her first love, and the appearance of a lighthouse ghost keep the reader guessing what will happen next.”
From Gabriel Valjean author of the Roma series… “Literature is ripe with stories about the loss of a child; the theme of such grief ripples through many of John Irving’s novels. Where most authors would dwell on the simmering, if not open, hostility and recriminations between spouses, Kathryn Mattingly provides a twist by offering the reader two mysteries: the disappearance of one child, the daughter of Olivia and Jackson Porter, and a ghost associated with a lighthouse.
It is not easy writing – and a remarkable accomplishment – that Mattingly conveys the loss of identity in motherhood. Olivia is driven, asking difficult and painful questions. It does not help that both spouses have temptations around them, but Mattingly’s parting note is that love triumphs and mends wounds. The writing is lush and lyrical, conjuring the sights and sounds of the ocean. When the seagull caws, it is a reminder that grief’s answer is in the language of hope and a mother’s abiding faith.”
From Rene Reid author of Finding The Magic… “From the first pages, Olivia’s Ghost plunges the reader into a maelstrom of powerful emotions and a heart-rending mystery. Mattingly is a superb word artist, who paints the reader completely into the beauty and ruggedness of the Oregon Coast as well as into the lives of her well-developed characters. It’s a thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable read with a great surprise ending.”
From Linda J. Berry author of Hidden… “Kathryn Mattingly has mastered the art of bringing complex characters to life and embedding them in a story that is hauntingly tragic, hopeful, and tinted with wisps of the supernatural. Add a stunning beach setting and historical lighthouse on the Oregon coast, two tormented men who compete for her love, and you have an emotional roller coaster ride that will leave you breathless.
From Jim Campaign author of Untapped Power and Coming Home Dead…“With Olivia’s Ghost Kathryn Mattingly once again shows her fans why she is an award-winning author. Within the first chapter, during a day that began with so much promise and ends with unimaginable heartache, readers will be captivated by rich characters and suspense that does not end until the final pages.”
From JC Lynne author of The Esau Continuum Series…“Olivia’s Ghost weaves a tale of sadness and hope in equal measure. You’ll find yourself holding your breath as you turn the pages while Mattingly skillfully pulls together the threads of two lives that explore the darkness and near madness of bereavement. Jackson and Olivia question whether they can recover their better selves in time to salvage their marriage, if not their daughter.”
From Sarah Reichert author of The Southtown Harbor Series… “Haunting and beautifully written, Kathryn Mattingly’s Olivia’s Ghost follows complex and empathetic characters through the pain of unimaginable loss and the uplifting chance for hope. Mattingly writes with the deep notes of tragedy and a mother’s persistent belief, interweaving them through Olivia’s journey into a life without her daughter. The reader is taken, with matching optimism and despair, through the story; willing the unlikely survival of Olivia’s beloved Ava, and rooting for her fight for the truth to not be in vain. Mattingly’s storytelling induces chills and enraptures the reader in this mysterious and sad tale of intrigue, intense in it’s journey through the shades of grief and the possibility of the otherworldly realm. The surprise ending does justice to the book in many thought-provoking ways that stick with you long after the last page.”
From Eva Huett, author of Elided…“Like the ocean she paints perfectly, Mattingly crushes you with tragedy and keeps you turning the page with a glimmer of hope. In this raw tale she dissects the complexity of human emotion that is heartbreakingly relatable.”
Cover art for Olivia’s Ghost is by Ladd Woodland @https://www.behance.net/laddwoodland
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