Roger and Carolyn Perron purchased the home of their dreams and eventual nightmares in December of 1970. The Arnold Estate, located just beyond the village of Harrisville, Rhode Island seemed the idyllic setting in which to raise a family. The couple unwittingly moved their five young daughters into the ancient and mysterious farmhouse. Secrets were kept and then revealed within a space shared by mortal and immortal alike. Time suddenly became irrelevant; fractured by spirits making their presence known then dispersing into the ether. The house is a portal to the past and a passage to the future. This is a sacred story of spiritual enlightenment, told some thirty years hence. The family is now somewhat less reticent to divulge a closely-guarded experience. Their odyssey is chronicled by the eldest sibling and is an unabridged account of a supernatural excursion. Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated this haunting in a futile attempt to intervene on their behalf. They consider the Perron family saga to be one of the most compelling and significant of a famously ghost-storied career as paranormal researchers. During a seance gone horribly wrong, they unleashed an unholy hostess; the spirit called Bathsheba...a God-forsaken soul. Perceiving herself to be mistress of the house, she did not appreciate the competition. Carolyn had long been under siege; overt threats issued in the form of fire...a mother's greatest fear. It transformed the woman in unimaginable ways. After nearly a decade the family left a once beloved home behind though it will never leave them, as each remains haunted by a memory. This tale is an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human spirit on a pathway of discovery: an eternal journey for the living and the dead
Let me start with saying the first book was so awful it took me literally two years to finish the 502 pages that was the second volume of this story. You can see my first review HERE
I try to give props and a bit of leeway to self published authors as I am one, decent cover art and editing can be expensive and hard to come by. This was in desperate need of BOTH, how hard is it to buy a good image from Shutterstock, or even use a picture of the real damn house? This book needed about 300 pages of it simply cut away.
For example there are six pages devoted simply to a metaphor about a school.
The book starts out with just pages of prose, pages and pages of it. Stupid quotes that are supposed to relate to the story, family anecdotes (tons of names of people who are not important to the story) that don't move the plot along, though by this point I was leery that there even WAS a plot as the time line of events is a skewed. I could never tell how much time had passed or where among the sequences of events each chapter actually took place.
Example: we are in volume two and AGAIN talking about the day they moved into the house.
Here is a quote which makes me think the author was quite literally trying to make the sisters in this book read like characters from a Louisa May Alcott novel.
"Mr. Kenyon found endearing, as did anyone else who visited the farm, admiring their refined manners, good sense and sensibilities: Little Women"
What now? It's 1970 not 1870.
Sadly, hidden among all the crap are tidbits of truly scary stuff. I feel like this story did need to be told, but not by this author or without a REALLY good editor. There were also a few really well written paragraphs hidden in this second volume, the author might not be half bad if she had done an outline, stuck to the important stuff and had focused on the creepy house. I mean the WARRENS helped with this case and they are only in the end. Well except for a brief bit on page 34 where the author glosses over Lorraine Warren actually coming, by writing:
Lorraine Warren had already come to call
I had to stop and say, "What? When? Did I miss it amidst all the horrible prose?"
The girls and mom have SO many ghostly encounters it leaves one to wonder. "How many damn ghosts were IN this house?" Sometimes they are scared of them, other times they are just friendly little watching spirits.
There is a ton of talking about faith, church and God in the second half of this book as well, grated on the nerves a bit, especially the pages and pages devoted to the family being told they should worship elsewhere when rumors about their haunted house begin to circulate in town. (84% into the book btw.) Then many more pages about how the family's faith developed over the years.
Example of prose from last part of the book:
"It was a moment of realization, cosmic incident creating a seismic shift in her perceptions of the spirit world from core to crust. It was a revelation, a blessed event."
Finally Roger leaves, if you remember, the author spends the first novel describing their dad as the world's biggest asshat. At about the last 10 % of the book he and Carolyn finally have a fight and he takes off, of course we must read about her "supernatural pain" for almost four pages. He comes back at some point but it's glossed over. The author does tell us Carolyn divorces him at some point in the future, I think after they have already moved from the house.
On page 429 we get some sense of time, the family moved from the farm in June of 1980...... However at this point Andrea is still telling the story, though I don't have any idea what is actually going on....
There are about three chapters right before the end of the book that have action in them, in as much as a resolution to the...I hesitate to use the word plot, climax or conflict. By this point I was so bored reading this I just wanted it to be over. Then there are about three additional chapters of just garbage before then book ends
You wanna know the ending? Do you? I will tell you then.
THIS HOUSE CANNOT BE CLEANSED.
The last sentence?
There is no death. There is only transformation.