Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Restorer

The Restorer
By Amanda Stevens

Once in a while you come across a book that you don't have great expectations for, yet you find yourself thoroughly enjoying it. The Restorer was such a book. I had picked it on my library's ebook website without really reviewing it to see if I would enjoy it. I was simply looking for a “fun” read that I could pick up at any time on my kindle.

Then I began reading: “I was nine when I saw my first ghost.” I was hooked on that first sentence.

The Restorer is a about a women named Amelia (!) who can see ghosts. She has learned from her father, who shares the same talent, that she can never be obvious that she can see ghosts or they will haunt her forever. She has lived a very lonely existence, being careful where she lives and who she befriends. She knows never to befriend anyone who is being followed by a ghost, as they will drain her.

Amelia's career, however, is restoring cemeteries. Because they are usually on hallowed ground, she does not often see ghosts in her place of work, although the research and background she does on each cemetery often gets her around specters of all kinds. As this novel opens, Amelia not only finds herself around a very attractive man who is haunted, she also finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation in which the unofficial bodies keep showing up in the very cemetery she has begun restoring.

Amelia's penchant for digging into the background on the dead does lead her into some areas and situations that most of us would probably avoid, they add to the spooky as well as thrilling plot. Stevens manages to make this book a romance, horror, mystery and paranormal novel without missing a beat. I had a hard time reading this at night!

What does this book have to do with my faith? I have always seen cemeteries as holy places. There is something soothing about walking among the tombstones, as though you are spending time in the communion of saints. This is really true about older cemeteries. Amelia's character reminded me of this. At the same time, there is also something scary about being in a cemetery; you are surrounded by so many reminders of death and there is a slight threat about seeing the dead. The Restorer also brought that fear to light. The same is true about being a follower of Christ – it is soothing, yet scary; peaceful yet frightening. I am talking about the unknown parts of our faith, the very same bits that often get overlooked when we take up the more controversial tenants of our belief. We don't often let ourselves dwell on the fearful parts of faith – just as we might find ourselves whistling in the graveyard.

Although this book does begin a trilogy, I highly recommend The Restorer! I think this will be in my top ten for the year.

Happy reading!


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