Contemporary, Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller

The Whispering Hollows by Lisa Unger

I almost never read short stories or novellas. I just find them to be more of a teaser than an actual satisfying story. But after reading Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger (check out my post a few days ago!), I knew that I had to give this trilogy of novellas a shot, especially since it concerned the mysterious town known as The Hollows. I’ve decided to give a mini synopsis of each of the three stories in this set. But I will give a quick summary of my thoughts on all of them at one time.

Part One: The Whispers

Eloise Montgomery always thought that she would know when a terrible accident would happen to her. But she was wrong. On a day like any other in The Hollows, a car accident claims the lives of Eloise’s husband and eldest daughter, and leaves Eloise in a coma. As she recovers, Eloise begins to experience psychic visions. Struggling to understand what is happening to her, Eloise feels torn – she wants to support her grief-stricken younger daughter but she also feels compelled to do something about the spirits that haunt her.
Part Two: The Burning Girl

It has been ten years since the fatal accident that tore her family apart. Now, Eloise is a renowned psychic who “works” in The Hollows. Through her visions as well as her own research, she has started discovering disturbing things about her family history, things that could maybe explain why she has these visions – and why her young granddaughter is exhibiting signs of being a psychic herself. The most disturbing thing Eloise is realizing is that not all of the spirits that approach her are seeking help. Some are seeking destruction – namely, hers.

Part Three: The Three Sisters

Finley, now nineteen, has come to live with Eloise in The Hollows. Finley’s powers are growing stronger every day, and they are starting to transform Eloise’s abilities. For one thing, Eloise’s load seems to have grown lighter and she doesn’t need to do as much to convene with the spirits. While Eloise works on her latest case with the local detective, she begins to worry about Finley. Is Finley really ready to embrace her destiny, and can Eloise help her put her anger into something good?

I love Eloise. She is the best person ever and I wish she were my grandmother. The author has done a fantastic job in portraying such a warm, strong, and realistic person. I liked how all of the stories revolve around Eloise; even if they deal with different issues, they come back to the feelings and experiences of the protagonist. One thing that I didn’t really like about this novel was that it left me with some gaps in my knowledge of events in The Hollows. As someone who is new to this fictional setting, I would have loved to have some more details and less ambiguous information. But I didn’t really mind it, as it has made me even more eager to read more of the novels that are about The Hollows. Overall, this is one of the few short story/novella collections that I have actually enjoyed. And if you are a fan of The Hollows, then you definitely do not want to miss out on this fix!

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