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Reading Wednesday

Book Review Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods by Jan Walker

This book was written by a local author in the town where I live. I was asked to read this book, which sometimes can be a little tricky…but not this time. I really enjoyed this unique story. Here is my book review Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods by Jan Walker.

Location

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and on the Kitsap Peninsula. And, as you probably know, I also LOVE Hawaii and spend as much time there as possible. So when I realized this story was based in these two locations I quickly was intrigued.

Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods

Walker creates a well-developed cast of characters who befriend Eve Sorenson on the island of Oahu when she arrives to care for her dying aunt. Aunt Meg has lived on Oahu for thirty years. Her seventy-year-old body is failing her, and she asks Eve to care for her in her end of life. But Meg is no push-over…she calls the shots and Eve who adores her is up to the task, including writing her aunt’s memoir.

But Eve has left a complicated list of catastrophes behind back home on the Kitsap Peninsula when she answers her aunt’s call to come to Hawaii. Everything from an accusation from a student, a 15-year old son with usual 15-year old problems, a jerk ex-husband and a deep sadness for the recent loss of her father and the family home she grew up in.

Spirits and Ghost Gods

On Eve’s first day in Oahu she goes to the Lyon Arboretum at the University of Hawaii where she encounters a white dog. The dog leads her to a man who has fallen into a ravine and is injured and near death. After the rescue the dog has disappeared. Was the dog real? Or a spirit to help her find the man? Are the dancing lights around the man Hawaiian spirits? Are the tiny Menehuna forest people present and involved in the rescue? And why does Eve keep seeing her father’s eyes in the man’s face.

This encounter will build the plot of this book that explores the Hawaiian myths and legends; the idea that our paths and choices may not always be our own; and how finding family and friends in the most unexpected places can change our lives forever.

Healing

The well researched and written Hawaiian historical and cultural information in the book meld beautifully into the plot of this story. I particularly liked how the book discussed life and death, afterlife and how different cultures view passing differently. I also enjoyed the healing nature of both Meg’s end of life journey and Eve’s emotional one with her beloved aunt and her son.

An overriding theme in the book is the role flora plays in both the Hawaiian and the Pacific Northwest lifestyle.

Surprise

You won’t find this book on Reese Witherspoon’s list of the Oprah Book Club…but don’t let that put you off. Like the characters in this book the unexpected things we find when we aren’t even searching are sometimes the best. That is the way with Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods.

I hope you enjoyed my book review Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods by Jan Walker.

****Four stars for Rain Shelters and Ghost Gods by Jan Walker

See last week’s review of Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson

My current read The Women in Black

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