Thursday, September 27, 2012

Haunting Jasmine by: Anjali Banerjee

Title: Haunting Jasmine  Author: Anjali Banerjee Publisher: Berkely Trade Pages: 304

I checked this book out from my local library after reading a review on another site.

From the back cover: Divorcee Jasmine Mistry is intent on restarting her life when she gets the chance to do just that.  A call from the past brings her home to Shelter Island, a green dot on the middle of Puget Sound, to run her beloved aunt's bookstore.  The familiarity is heartening- the rocky beaches, pewter skies, country boutiques and above all, Auntie's Bookstore, nestled in a quaint Queen Anne Victorian, and believed, not incidentally, to be haunted.

Although my fiction tastes normally run toward southern fiction, I felt I had to give this one a try. It has books, it has ghosts, it has a female character who finds her independence... I was intrigued.  I admit, I was afraid I would find a sappy romance here- a woman loses her love but is saved by another man.  (I hate those books!)  This book was surprisingly different.  I don't want to spoil it. I will say that the book is realistic in its depiction of the character's divorce and the way she deals with her former husband's infidelity. However, the book also has a magical quality. The bookstore is haunted- not just by any ghosts, but by the ghosts of authors, no less.  Beatrix Potter, Edgar Allen Poe...even Dr. Seuss makes an appearance.
While the book is not a traditional romance-I HATE those- there is an underlying theme of love.  How does love change over time?  How does love change us?  Jasmine is reeling from the pain of her ex-husband's infidelity while her sister is planning a marriage to the man of her dreams.  A family friend walks away from the "perfect family" and never looks back. Again, the thing I love the most about this book, is that the character finds her ability to start over and find her place in this world within herself, not from a man. Does a man have a place in her life? Yes...but I won't spoil that for you....Let's just say he is a catalyst for change...and that's not a bad thing....

Read this book if:
* You love books and book stores
*You love books about women who save themselves
*You love reality with a little magic thrown in

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