by Deborah Mantella
Publisher: Turner Publishing
Buy the Book: Amazon
Goodreads: On July 4, 1955, in rural Georgia, an act of violence threatens the life of Vidalia Lee Kandal's pre-born daughter. Despite the direst of circumstances, the spirit of the lost child refuses to leave her ill-equipped young mother's side.
For as long as she is needed―through troubled pregnancies, through poverty, through spousal abuse and agonizing betrayals―Cieli Mae, the determined spirit child, narrates their journey. Serving as a safe place and sounding board for Vidalia's innermost thoughts and confusions, lending a strength to her momma's emerging voice, Cieli Mae provides her own special brand of comfort and encouragement, all the while honoring the restrictions imposed by her otherworldly status.
Vidalia finds further support in such unlikely townsfolk and relations as Doc Feldman, Gamma Gert and her Wild Women of God, and, most particularly, in Ruby Pearl Banks, the kind, courageous church lady, who has suffered her own share of heartache in their small Southern town of yesteryear's prejudices and presumptions.
Kritters Thoughts: An interesting book that is very different from what I normally read as a stillborn baby that is still "haunting" her mother is narrating this story from a different perspective. Cieli Mae unfortunately didn't make it during birth, but she stays with her mother to help her and provides the reader with a perspective into this family.
I can honestly say I have never read a book with this type of a character providing the story and I went back and forth enjoying her point of view and being off put by it. At the same time the cause of her death was hard to read and as it continued through the story, I was definitely talking out loud to Vidalia hoping she could make some major decisions for her and her family. Sorry being vague - don't want to reveal too much!
In the same instance, I loved the time and place. I loved the setting of the South and specifically Georgia and 1955 in a rural setting made this story just pop.
So I would say as a historical fiction fan it was interesting and there were times where I was enjoying the whole story, but there were also some cringe worthy moments, so I would absolutely caution a reader to know what you are getting into on this one.
Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.