Genre: Supernatural romance, Mystery Publication.Date December 21st 2011 Pages: 340 Published By: OakBluffs Press / OakIvy Publishing | Website Jennifer B.White Otherwise - Goodreads My review copy: Finished copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon |
Reluctantly, Delilah Gray has returned to her childhood home—a ramshackle cottage where her compulsive, hoarding grandmother, Meema, raised her. Meema’s ghostly manifestations refuse to let Delilah clean the filthy house, or to stay there peacefully. And that’s just the beginning of Delilah’s problems.
Lonely, angry, and hiding a painful secret, she tries to find a place for herself in a town that she once discovered was “in-between”—a portal to the worlds of the supernatural. Upon her arrival, Delilah unwittingly gets caught in the middle of important business between The Keeper, whose job it is to keep souls on the physical plane, and The Sender who helps speed the dead on their afterlife journey.
When Delilah discovers that she is connected to Lily Defoe, a woman who leapt to her death many years ago, and to a man who refers to himself as The Gravedigger for Lost Souls, she realizes there is more to her homecoming than she anticipated. Who she is, and who she’s been, crosses the boundaries of life and death. Nothing—not the people she meets, not this very moment in time, not even the tragic death of her daughter—is what it appears to be. Not only does Delilah have her own “soul searching” to do, but she must work with some of Green Lake’s oddest characters to uncover the mysteries of several unsolved deaths that have never been forgotten.
While strange and supernatural occurrences threaten Delilah’s already fragile emotional state, she still has a crucial choice to make that will change everything. She comes to understand that there are some things that are worse than death. There is Otherwise—to be confined to a twilight state between the spiritual and the physical worlds.
Delivered like a witch from a Victorian fairy tale , Delilah arrived on Hermit Meddler's Way on gusty winds. If she was a witch - or something preternatural - she must be wicked, she thought, because a scorching anger seethed inside her like hot coals.
Some would find their way into Winnie's shop. They might buy flowers, or leisurely browse through her small collection of antique records, paintings and silverware. They might pet Calla Lilly, remark on the weather, or share some idle chitchat or an interesting bit of local news. Most would be welcome. Some would not. But they'd come anyway.
She was cursed, and this was hell.
Everything went black.
Hell and the blackness consumed her.
Delilah's grandmother was a compulsive hoarder. She collected everything - old clothing, newspapers, cardboard boxes filled with stacks of things most of us would consider junk, dolls, even expired (and often rotten) food. Living with her was a constant struggle and all Delilah ever wanted was to get away. Leave. Run away and never look back. And she did, as soon as she turned seventeen. Now, when her grandmother passed away, Delilah finds herself back in the small town she grew up in. She's determined to clean up her grandmother's old cottage and get rid of the piles of garbage once and for all, making her childhood home inhabitable again.
But strange things begin to happen to Delilah. First, her car disappears. Then the electricity at the cottage magically fixes itself. She meets a mysterious stranger, who keeps on appearing from nowhere and disappearing into thin air. Delilah's hometown is a mysterious place, eerie and unwelcoming to strangers, very protective of its secrets. There's a deliciously dream-like quality to it. Delilah is about to discover things she never thought existed. Not only will she have to find a way to make peace with her own past, but in order to re-discover purpose in her life, she's going to have to solve several mysterious deaths that have been haunting the town for generations. Remember, anything is possible in the town of "otherwise".
Otherwise is a magical read. I fell under its spell on the first page. I don't know what it is about this book, but I couldn't put it down. The simple yet descriptive language really spoke to me, and I found it very easy to connect with the main characters. Delilah was a delightful MC, and a very unconventional one at that! Fighting ghosts of her own, emotionally fragile, snarky, with the penchant for swear words, she was refreshingly cool. I was constantly surprised by everything she did and all the things she said. There was no predicting what Delilah will say or do next. Seeing her re-discover love, pleasure, and hope, and watching her morph from a scared, emotionally damaged girl, who basically gave up on happiness all together, into a strong, passionate, and determined woman - that was priceless and ultimately satisfying. Shane was a great character, too, but as much as I loved his mysteriousness and undeniable charm, I think I loved Winnie even more. This elderly flower shop/antique store owner was a real treat and I really enjoyed reading about her. To be honest, all the characters were unique and brilliantly fleshed out, and I found myself really engrossed in their stories.
The plot line alone was fantastic. There was so much going on! The complexity of the world-and-character-building was mind-blowing. I was awe-struck. It really is a magnetic and addictive read, and I'm 100% sure that once you start reading, you will find yourself unable to toss it aside and get back to your every-day activities. Beware: this book will consume you! Personally, I found it totally fascinating to read about the compulsive hoarding disorder. The insights into the sickness provided by the author were truly compelling and thought-provoking, especially since the story focused rather on the emotional and psychological distress of the family members, rather than the sick herself.
Overall, Otherwise is a strong story with elements of romance, supernatural, mystery and drama that is sure to entertain and please even the pickiest readers. Jennifer B. White delivered a captivating, bewitching tale, that is just as harrowing as it is moving, and just as entertaining as it is serious. What can I say? I really loved it!
And now, my dear readers, I have a very delicious treat for you - a vlog interview with the fabulous Jennifer B.White! If you have a couple of minutes to spare.. watch this! I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Jennifer is a beautiful and talented person, and every self-respecting book worm should get to know her!
OakIvy Publishing generously offered a copy of one of Jennifer's other books, Dead Asleep, up for grabs! One lucky winner will receive this beauty - and trust me, you WANT IT!
If it were possible, I’d never sleep again.
Everyone was talking about my dreams—even though I hadn’t told a single soul about them. Wherever I went, strangers were discussing my nocturnal visions. I wanted to chalk all of this up to coincidence, but then, only minutes after a chance encounter with a young woman I didn’t know, after she told me in perfect detail of the dream I’d had the night before, she was killed. And I knew I’d have to figure out what was happening to me.
My only hope was a woman who had a knack for falling dead asleep. With help from Claire, a narcoleptic, I would have to take a sleep-journey into the past and future affecting everyone’s life, including my own.
Some things to know about me—my name is Kevin Macy and I’m a partner in an ad agency in Boston, Massachusetts. I’m divorced, I smoke, and I’m an accomplished alcoholic. Not that it has anything to do with my story, but it’s part of who I am. And in the course of reading about these supernatural and bizarre events, those things will factor in.
Another important note—and this you will have a hard time swallowing, I’m sure—while on this strange journey of discovery, I died. And I mean that in the realest of ways—dead as a door nail—bought the farm—kicked the bucket. You get the picture. Of course being dead didn’t “stick,” otherwise I wouldn’t be able to tell you my curious tale.
Ends: March 15th
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About the AuthorEvie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and chatting with fellow book-worms.