What’s it about?
Patricia’s life has fallen apart. Her son, Noah, is in a Russian prison, framed for a crime that he didn’t commit. Her husband has abandoned her, and mounting legal costs have left her broke. In desperate need of funds to pursue Noah’s appeal, she takes a job supervising the renovation of Gaunt House, an Elizabethan ruin on the North York Moors. When a corpse and a diary are discovered in the rubble, she begins to investigate the house’s tragic history—and finds that the past, and the dead, are closer than they seem.
My Review of Ashes
It took me a bit to get into Ashes, but once I started reading it, I found myself enjoying what I read. Hemplow writes with talent, weaving different threads of stories together to make an entertaining yarn. The idea that he was working towards is clear, and his execution is pretty good. There were only a couple of things that kept me from enjoying the story as much as I could have.
The passages from the journal are written in language I’m assuming is appropriate for that time, but the archaic wording along with the font used make it a pain to get through. I’d rather have just seen a couple paragraphs of it, then it be in normal English as Patricia translated in her head or something.
The ending feels a bit… abrupt. I’ve no problem with short stories, obviously, but this doesn’t feel like a short story. It feels like a full-length novel begging to be let out of its too small prison. I think this story begs to be expanded a bit to fully realize its potential as there’s a couple ends that don’t feel like they were properly addressed for an ending.
My favorite quote was:
“The house of God doesn’t get terribly good reception, I’m afraid.” -Philip Hemplow
Regardless of the small issues, it was still an entertaining read, and I’d recommend giving it a look-see when you have a minute.
Title: Ashes | Author: Philip Hemplow | Publisher: Self-published | Pub. Date: 2014-11-13 | Pages: 150 | ASIN: B00PM23KZS | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Date Read: 2015-12-8 | Source: Received a copy free from the author in exchange for an honest review.