Ruby died nearly one hundred years ago. She saw spirits of the dead when she was alive, and now she is dead she has become a spirit guide who helps ghosts pass on.
When ghosts start being taken by darkness instead of the light, Ruby is forced to seek help from a handsome and unwilling medium, who awakens emotions in her that she thought had died long ago.
I’m such a sucker for a ghost story. You know those weekends away in b&bs in the back and beyond with rows of crusty books on bookshelves wearing dust and spiders? If there’s a book of ghost stories and/ or local folklore on there, you’ve lost me. You can hike that mountain/ take in the scenery on your own my friend. I’ll be scaring myself witless in these ghostly tales thank you very much. (This rule does not transfer to scary films. I will never watch a horror lest it take over my brain for many proceeding months. One word. The Conjuring….)
As many of you will know, I am a judge-a-book-by-its-cover kind of gal. When Elizabeth Davies sent me The Medium Path (please see exhibit A, above) images of dark alleys infested with bubbling cauldrons flooded my expectations. While there are witch like characters and many a ghost here, my initial presumptions couldn’t have been further from the truth. For a start, the setting is thoroughly contemporary. There are smart phones and everything. Despite this, there isn’t a whole lot of the real world to cling onto at all. We spend most of the narrative betwixt this world and the next, accompanying Ruby on her mission to persuade the recently deceased to pass into the light. Ruby is essentially a dead Melinda Gordon for the Ghost Whisperer fans among you. Just like Melinda, Ruby has her fair share of unruly spirits to contend with.
Davies gently infuses the main story led by Ruby, with seemingly unconnected mini stories from the ghosts she is trying to help, stirring them all into the pot with a cunning haphazardness. Before you know it, all the peripheral characters are suddenly essential to each other, pushing the plot to a rather pungent boiling point.
Ruby is not a typical leading lady. Because she is dead. At first glance, this somewhat removes any vulnerability that would lead to any dire peril and therefore does not inspire much empathy from the reader on her behalf. Because she is dead. What else can happen to her? Well, as it turns out, there are worse things than death. And Ruby is just about to find out what that is.
The Medium Path can be purchased in paperback or kindle form here.