After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.
Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background? – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle.
Discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lies in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.
TSL Publications (paperback) https://tslbooks.uk/product/a-ghost-and-his-gold-roberta-eaton-cheadle/
A Ghost And His Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a brilliant, thoughtful, and deeply emotional novel. In this book, which is a historical paranormal novel, she weaves together the plots of a distant time period and shows how they connect to the present. Her historical research is impeccable, and her characters draw the reader completely into the story.
A Ghost And His Gold is a tale of love and hatred, the impact of the past on the present, greed and decency, war and peace, and sinning and redemption. Weaving such an intricacy of themes could easily be difficult, but Cheadle is extraordinary in her narration. She moves the reader seemingly without effort from one time period to another, and confusion is never a problem. Her plotting skills as are strong as are her character development.
This novel is set in South Africa, both in contemporary times and during the Boer Wars. The impact of this setting and history is interwoven beautifully with both the character of the ghosts and those of Michelle and Tom, and we see the tensions of these characters as they impact each other.
While Cheadle intertwines moments of great terror, both from the paranormal and from the consequences of war, ultimately this is a novel about committing terrible transgressions, forgiveness, and achievement of redemption. It is a book about the complexity and depths of the human spirit.
I recommend this novel completely. Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a truly talented writer, and this book is excellent!
Roberta Cheadle is an accomplished novelist and poet: please read her other work as well.
A solid setting makes or breaks a paranormal story. In Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s A Ghost and His Gold, readers are treated to a culture and locale not often written about in these tales–South Africa! The book, set in two periods separated by over one hundred years, piques your curiosity when a Ouija board appearing on a modern-day farm in Irene, South Africa catapults a few characters back to the turn of the century Boer War… that is, circa 1900 when things were quite horrific. As the title suggests, there is gold hidden somewhere, and a ghost has returned to either protect or resurrect it.
Tom and Michelle are our focal points in the current times. We learn more of Michelle, who is smart and sensitive. She hears and sees things, but others do not… until a group of friends decide to use the Ouija board for fun. Eaton creates a fantastic setting when the ghost first appears among a civilized party with 6 friends, though some have been drinking a bit in excess. I felt the eeriness of the scene as temperatures changed and bottles exploded. Everyone somewhat shrugged it off, but not Michelle. As she researches local history, more becomes clear not only about the land she and Tom own but concerning Tom’s personal history the year before they met. What secrets had he been keeping from her?
Ghosts are relatively easy to include in a book setting; however, it takes a talented and creative writer to ensure they come across as frightening and not as funny. These ghosts are not necessarily good or bad; they simply have an agenda. Watching Tom’s descent into darkness is unnerving. Understanding the depths someone went to in the past to survive the South African wars is eye-opening. Knowing what happens between a parent and a child when know one else is around is scary. Eaton cleverly uses the past to hint about the future… and it works very well. I enjoy her ability to paint characters in a realistic light, both positive and negative attributes.
Most of the effects are psychological, yet some physical things happen to Michelle and her friends as well. I was glad to see how the details were treated in the story… even those who might not believe in ghosts will question what’s real or fake. This is more about understanding what happened in the past and led to today’s unleashing of anger. When it all comes together, there is an alignment between enemies and friends, but there is a moment where things could go south quickly. Do you abandon your home or try to make a connection? Is the enemy of your enemy your friend or you foe? Great questions to ask in a story like this one.
I enjoy seeing authors stretch their talents. This is the second or third book I’ve read of Cheadle’s that contains paranormal elements. Each offers a different take on otherworldly experiences. I look forward to more in this genre… I recommend it for those looking for fun with crossing a line and determining what ghosts really want, as well as for anyone looking for a book that has some frightening moments but it is also analytical in nature. Great release!
Cheadle has done her homework, and the South African history related within is quite educational as well as entertaining. Readers will be riveted to their seats as the tale of each ghost is revealed, with each of their stories being equally captivating.
5 Star Blog review Annika Perry
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