A pleasant chick lit tale with the usual trope – nice lady with two school-age kids deserted by her husband who wanted to go find himself by becoming a monk in the Himalayan mountains, leaving her with only the money from the sale of her house to live on.
So she rents a rundown place out in the boonies of Alabama, and set off for the unknown with her kids, her newly widowed formerly wealthy but now bankrupt widowed mother, and her acerbic mother-in-law who had lived with them for the past 12 years. So the dear husband walked out on not only his wife and kids, but also his mother.
Upon arrival, she is greeted by the next door neighbor, a nice looking guy. (What? You were expecting some nice schlub, kinda on the homely side? Never happen in chick lit.) Said nice good looking neighbor happens to be single, and in charge of his older father. How convenient. You can see what is coming a mile away, right?
What saves this from being a Yawn with a capital YAWN, is Lottie. Lottie is the ghost in the house. In fact, it is HER house, which her husband built for her before the Civil War broke out. after burying their most valuables and money in the back yard so the Union soldiers can’t find it and take it, and building in a secret door and stairway to the attic in the kitchen, he leaves to fight on the Rebel side, where he is killed.
Lottie somehow died in the house, but doesn’t know how, but her bones were still there. She is lost or stuck or just existing in the place between living and moving forward, and has been since her death, in this empty house. She is gathering strength, and wants her life back. And her special chair her husband made for her. And she is not happy with the sloppy housekeeping going on in her house, the constant bickering between the two mothers who don’t much care for each other, and determines to ‘extend herself’ back into the world of the living. She gets her chance by watching the neighbor do electrical work, and accidentally touches a live wire which makes portions of her body begin to appear. But to her dismay, they soon fade. She is convinced she can go all the way with a bigger jolt.
She does this, appears to the family and introduces herself, and begins cooking and taking care of the house to the joy of the overworked young woman. It was a hoot. We could all use one of these.
One of those feel good stories with a happy ending. I like happy endings. So few end with a reconstituted ghost doing the housework. There is hope for us all.