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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Madeline is a housekeeper for Mr. Jeremiah, an elderly man who lives in an old and decaying Victorian house in London. When she first went to see him about the position, she was unfamiliar with both the country and the language and was relieved when she realized that her prospective employer was fluent in her native Spanish. Madeline fled Colombia, where she had grown up, when her lover, Sebastian, had threatened to have her killed, or kill her himself, if she did not immediately leave the country. When "The Dead Still Want to Live" begins, Madeline has returned home several years later to attend the funeral of Sebastian, after his death in a plane crash, and is confronted by his ghost, who seems confused and at a loss. She counsels him to seek the guidance of an angel and is rebuffed as Sebastian has not changed and is still the dominant and egotistical man who sent her away.
"The Dead Still Want to Live" is a remarkable novel. Madeline, Mr. Jeremiah and the cook live simple lives in their ramshackle mansion, which is a joy to behold. She reads to him and is his companion and, in many ways, the elderly man has become her patron, friend and the father she never had. The author, Roxana Jones, handles the metaphysical side of this tale with a deft and sure touch as the angel guides the surly and self-centered Sebastian through the different levels of awareness as he learns to love himself, abandon his need to be controlling and ultimately find healing. There is much to absorb and think about when reading this book which I found to be quite pleasurable. This is a book I'll be reading again soon and will be recommending to my friends.