Book #9: Stillwell by Michael Phillip Cash

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Paul Russo’s wife just died. While trying to get his family’s life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife’s spirit hostage on the other side. His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor. Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife’s soul free.

Like, Witches Protection Program, I got Stillwell from a Kindle deal when it was free (not sure if it is now). I honestly didn’t realize it was from the same author until after I got the audio version of it and decided to listen to it. I was in a rut, trying to figure out what to listen to or if I just wanted silence. Since the Audible time listed is about four hours, I thought this would be a quick read and something fun to pursue.

Stillwell is a beautiful ghost story about love lost and grief. There were serious moments where I was holding back the feels with a flimsy wall. There are two ghost stories happening in the book that are intertwined: Allison’s spirit and the spirits of Stillwell.

The story is better written than Cash’s other book I’ve read. Not because of the writing style, but more because of the content. Wtiches Protection Program was an action foray and had comical moments. Stillwell deals with the mental and emotional aspect of the main character. It isn’t so much the action that is stressed, but the ambiance and emotion. The grief is palpabale and I found myself wondering how lost I would be if my husband did die from his various near misses (there are a few under his belt).

Stillwell is also a short story compared to the other book I’ve read. It has equal parts sad and uplifting hope. There are parts of delusion and possibly horror. The length, or lack of, doesn’t hinder the storytelling. The story is full and definitely resonates possibly because of the length.

In all, I genuinely loved this story. I actually found inspiration for something I’ve been having problems writing (not the same story, don’t worry). That puts Stillwell high up on my rating list. Needless to say, there will be more of Cash’s work in my TBR list.

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