The Night Visitor by Patrick Redmond
When does a gift become a curse?
Meg has a gift. She can change lives. But when tragedy strikes in childhood she vows never to use it again.
Now an adult, she is living in Cornwall; a place where the elements themselves have a life of their own. When they call she refuses to listen, fearful of the dark places where her gift can lead.
But the dead will not be silenced. They are stronger than her. And now they have chosen she is powerless to escape…
‘Until that dreadful day when everything changed’
The novel opens in Suffolk 1991, with sisters Meg (6yrs) and her little sister Grace and their mother Becky. They are in a café, a seemingly innocent day out. When Meg utters some simple words to widow, Edith Harris. This scene sets the tone for the novel and you instantly become aware there is so much more to Meg than meets the eye.
The novel then fast-forwards to 1992 and Meg is now at Wickenham primary school she is often taunted and bullied by the other children. We begin to learn that due to Meg’s visions/premonitions, she is treated as an outcast. She has a bullying teacher in Mrs Fisher and her classmates are quick to join in. For poor Meg life is tough; handling her visions and the shunning of her peers.
‘Please God, don’t let me ever see anything bad about my mum’ – Meg
Then novel progresses over Meg and Grace’s childhood and we learn that it was one of much suffering. The ultimate suffering for Meg is the tragic death of her beloved mother. Which sets Meg’s life on a unique course and ensures her refusal to ever accept her father’s new wife. The scenes are extremely moving and emotive, the girls plight is fully explored; and I must admit you grow to really admire Meg and her defensive stance.
‘Meg would never allow herself to trust anyone ever again’
Meg decides in order to live a happy fulfilled and ‘normal’ life it is best to close herself off to her visions and block them out. A decision she is determined to live by. . .
‘The dead couldn’t reach her. Not anymore. Her barriers were too firmly in place and none of them would ever break through and trick her again.
None but one’
The novel then jumps to 2017 Cornwall, where we are reunited with a now adult Meg. She is taking a break from her tough job at a prestigious law firm; on the West Coast of Cornwall. She slowly becomes friends with her neighbour Dan. But we also become aware Meg is deep in grief after the death of her sister Grace four months ago. Meg comes across as paranoid at moments but a lifetime of grief and emotional pain, can take its toll. She slowly opens up to Dan about Grace and even befriends some of the locals.
Then the nightmares begin. . . .
‘Only by facing it can you hope to conquer fear’
There are a series of unusual encounters, that force Meg to explore her own painful past and the local Cornish history. What she uncovers will lead to shock revelations.
I have enjoyed previous novels by this author and this one does not disappoint. The characterisation of meg is brilliant, as you the reader become drawn into her personality and story. The ending is beautifully written and clearly shows the skill of the delivery of a well-planned novel.
Expect the unexpected 5* genius
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