Review: The Haunting of Hattie Hastings – Parts 1-3 by Audrey Davis

Reviewed by Elise

Where do I start with this book? It was charming, quaint, very British and I adored it. I’m not sure how to categorize this book. It’s a perfect little mishmash of genres and the description of ‘romantic comedy’ suits it well. This story is divided into 3 novellas. I’m not sure why because as a single book it was coherent and flowed well. Each part is dependent on the other for meaning. and in order to appreciate one part, the reader has to read them all.  So this is a review of the story as a whole than just one part.

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings tells the story of 40-something-year-old Hattie who is dealing with the unexpected death of her husband, Gary. Hattie has the support of her son, her mother and brother, and her best friend, Cat. She also has regular visits from Gary, who couldn’t leave without making sure she would be okay. Gary has his own unique way of ensuring this. The scenes between the two speak of a tender and familiar love.

Gary’s visits are initially troubling for Hattie, who, quite rightly, thinks she might going insane (or overindulging during happy hour!). Gary gradually reveals himself to other characters in the story and those grieving his loss are bonded by their shared extra time with him. I will admit some of Gary’s antics did make me chuckle. He always managed to bring an element of humor to whatever situation he managed to find himself in.

Gary appears to be a lynchpin of sorts. He is an agent for change by doing nothing more than appearing in the right place and at the right time. As he appears to them, each character deals with the changes and revelations in different ways and this is articulated through story telling from various POVs. Gary’s visits are bittersweet as both he and Hattie know that his ‘extra time’ is finite. Hattie lamented in the beginning of the book that she wished she had the chance to say goodbye. Gary’s reappearance gave them the chance to do just that.

Part three ran the gamut of emotions. All the threads of the story came together in an emotional sequence and ended the story on a high note, not just for Hattie and Gary but for their extended circle of family and friends.

The characters were well developed, the pacing just right and the plot unique. I really did enjoy this story. So much so, I had to force myself to put the book down at midnight or I would have read all night until it was finished.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings
by Audrey Davis
Release Date: November 2017

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