Synopsis from Goodreads: “Though decades apart, two young girls are connected in a way that is both fantastical and surreal. When twelve year old Louise Erikson finds out that she holds the key to saving a nine year old who disappeared twenty years earlier, she decides to accept the challenge. Will Louise be able to rescue the girl and the others locked away with her before it’s too late?”
Recently, I had the pleasure of reading B.W. Ginsburg’s first – & hopefully not the last! – novel. I’ve been following B the entire time (since June 2016) I’ve been on WordPress. I was so excited to hear she was releasing her first book.
I’m going to try & keep this review spoiler-free. Hopefully, I can still pique your interest!
Rest in Piece doesn’t waste any time. It gets right into the action, launching into the mysterious events surrounding two young women/girls in the first few pages. Ginsburg keeps pushing the story forward, foreshadowing & hinting, but keeping the plot’s secrets quiet until the very end.
Without giving too much away, I’d like to share two central themes I noticed in Rest in Piece:
- Fear of people labeling characters as “crazy” for their experiences. Of course, the book does deal with supernatural events. Nevertheless, I think the mental health stigma is a factor. Louise & her friends worry that their parents will deny the events actually happened – a fear people with mental illnesses face every day.
- What it means to become an individual & separate from one’s parents. When is it OK – even necessary – to lie? Do your friends & family have to know everything about your life? How can you uphold the values your parents instilled while becoming your own person? How do you stand up to bullies? A sampling of questions Ginsburg subtly addressed.
The epilogue/post-script left me asking questions – in a good way! Will there be a sequel? How could this happen?
I would love to say the book is perfect, but readers & writers know that isn’t possible. Heck, even The Complete Works of William Shakespeare – which I took a break from to spend three days devouring Rest in Piece – has typos. (Look forward to reading about it in my next review.)
One issue I noticed was the paragraphs’ starting indentations varied. I don’t think this was the author’s fault, however. Something went wrong when the document went through its conversion to .epub (or whatever format Kindle uses nowadays).
I think it’s a good idea for anyone publishing an e-book to triple-check the finished product.
Another issue was the frustrating “showing, not telling.” For anyone who hasn’t taken Creative Writing 101, that’s when your teacher tells you to “show” the readers, not “tell” them, what’s happening. Unfortunately, it’s an element you can’t explain – you only know it when you see it.
It appeared in Rest in Piece in a few places. One example would be where Ginsburg describes Louise walking the family beagle, Spot, & looking at the neighbors’ gardens. I felt the author could have described different flowers, their colors, maybe even memories of watching her neighbors planting them.
However, despite instances like that, Ginsburg has excellent imagery when it counts the most. The opening scenes, the supernatural elements, & the climax are described in (wonderfully gory) detail.
I give Rest in Piece by B.W. Ginsburg 4 out of 5 stars – or a “really liked it” rating. The plot is unique, I cared about the characters, & I connected with the themes on a personal level. Even though there were some issues, it’s an amazing first book.