by Barbara Michaels
After re-reading Witch, my interest in Barbara Michaels was reignited. I remembered a movie of the week based on Ammie Come Home and watched it on You Tube. I then , of course, had to reread the book. An added attraction for me to jump it to the head of the line in my TBR list was the fact that there are 2 other books featuring Pat and Ruth, the gracious couple in Ammie.
Ammie is much spookier than Witch, which was really more about small town religious prejudices and insularity rather than the paranormal. I enjoyed it very much. The mystery concerning the who and why of the haunting, I of course knew. I remembered most of it, but of course the movie, which is unfortunately titled, The House That Would not Die, stayed true to the plot. The romance of Pat and Ruth had just the right amount of attention, as did the secondary romance of Bruce and Sara. Ruth is a very similar character to Ellen in Witch, but Pat could not be more different than John. He is one of Barbara Michaels’ more delightful and well-drawn heroes.
Most of the book concerns powwows around the dinner table, and research into the history of the house in the days before computers and social media. They actually had to go to the library and pour through old books and documents all day long. I loved the debates and discussions, the tension between the two generations, and conflicting schools of thought. But it was the convivial family atmosphere, relationships among the principals, and the slow unfolding of the mystery that really drew me in. I was right there and part of it. This book was written 50 years ago now, in 1968. Barbara was just coming into her own. I loved being taken back in time to my high school years. The book is soaked in the attitudes, fashions, and concerns of the liberal and intellectual elite. And as such, some might call it dated, or might not be able to relate. But I loved this reminder of how life used to be in certain circles. It was almost like a fairytale! **5 stars out of 5**
October 20, 2017