MEC Reviews: The Other Side of Forestlands Lake – Carolyn Elizabeth

This was a refreshing light paranormal (that’s not a bad thing) that had just enough of a ghost story to keep a reader hooked whether they are a fan of paranormal or not. The story revolves around Willa and Lee – former childhood sweethearts who are separated by a tragedy and reconnect when Willa returns to the lake community with her troubled (trouble-making?) half sister. Twenty odd years before, the deaths of two little girls cast a pall over the community and with Willa’s return, things begin to happen. Willa and Lee’s meeting leads to a second chance romance – but is probably the most angst free reunion I’ve read which was nice. There’s so much else going on in the book that handwringing and recriminations would have bogged things down and it was nice to see the two likable characters fit back together.

The manifestations of the ghosts was well done – with ghostly sound of someone walking through the water’s edge on the camp side and only being heard by some people and the subtle possession of Nicole on the other side. It was nice to see that the ghosts weren’t evil or malicious – just lost little girls. I particularly appreciated how it wasn’t obvious what was happening with Nicole at first, but thinking back you can see where it was happening.

From a mystery standpoint – there may have too many red herrings going on that distracted from the ghost and romance portion. I did want to know what happened to the two girls – but I don’t know that the mystery portion was tight enough and I think I would have liked to have spent more time with the ghosts themselves (who doesn’t like ghost stories at camp).

There was a lot going on in the book and I think this would have benefitted from being a longer book to give the paranormal, mystery and romance elements even more attention and depth. Overall, this was a good read and if you’re looking for a book to read while lounging by the lake this summer, this would keep you entertained – and maybe make you listen for anything that may go bump in the night.

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