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Reviewed by Michelle Randall for Readers' Favorite
Life for seventeen-year-old Abby Renshaw has not been easy. Her father died when she was young, her mom moved her from Florida to New Jersey away from her Granma, and she started having vivid dreams and visions. Of course she was treated by a psychiatrist for those in New Jersey, but they have started to return. Only now, Abby feels compelled to return to Florida to visit her Granma on Bliss Bayou. While there, Abby has more visions, but this time she learns more about her family history and the history of Bliss Bayou as a magical place. She is introduced to Violet who practices magic and is able to help Abby understand the visions and not run from them. Ghosts of Bliss Bayou by author Jack Massa tells the story of the Renshaw family and the practice of practical magic that existed in the area. The truth of the family history has been buried in lies by those greedy for power, and it becomes Abby's job to uncover the truth and set things right.
Author Jack Massa has created a wonderful little world that is historic and steeped in tradition and magic, but not your wand waving kind of magic, the more practical magic of a naturalist, listening to the elements of the world and being in tune with them. Ghosts of Bliss Bayou falls into the paranormal genre for the appearance of a number of ghosts who help lead Abby to the truth, as well as the use of the practical magic. It is just as much a coming of age story as Abby finds her way in the world and what she wants to do and who she really is. This is a well written and engaging book that is great for young adults, teens and adults alike. Although at times the visions get a bit confusing, if you just press on reading, it all becomes clear. This is a very clean book, no language or sex, so I recommend it for any reader.