Curtis Aisling has literally dodged a bullet. At least he thinks he has. But he wonders whether that bullet still has it out for him when he leaves his ex-fiancé and Los Angeles behind for Coronado, New Mexico to borrow some much-needed money from his sister.
The small dilapidated desert town of Coronado has exactly one mansion, belonging to 92-year-old Veronica Meeks. Curtis’s sister, Dia, and her partner, Araceli, are Veronica’s live-in caretakers and while they are delighted to have a visitor, Veronica doesn’t even know he’s there. In the final stages of what the locals call “the reminisce,” she is no longer aware of her surroundings. But when Curtis starts seeing things that no one else does, he’s not convinced that the old, unresponsive woman is as disconnected as everyone thinks.
At times what should be empty rooms within the huge house appear filled with furniture, and music emanates from a dusty radio that has been packed away for ages. Tales of Veronica’s associations and connections with the occult lead Curtis to believe she is causing the ghostly occurrences. But when people begin to appear in those phantom rooms—people from her past including Veronica herself—he’s no longer certain it is her doing.
Each vision pulls Curtis further and further back, each one detailing a consequential moment in Veronica’s long life, until he begins to fear he could become lost in her past.
And then there’s that bullet…
From Books Review Anonymous
I was just telling someone the other day how I’ve been jonesing for a good ghost story. This novel turned out to be just that: nothing too gratuitously gory or rooted in a timeless evil. It was a haunting of the beneficial sort, and it served as a great backdrop for an even greater story.
After a rather embarrassing breakup, Curtis Aisling turns to his sister to help him get back on his feet. Strange things start happening in the house, with Curtis at the very center. It’s a race against time to discern the message being given to him.
There were a couple of storylines that ran through the narrative. All the characters’ stories intersected at some point, which added to the narrative and its characters. It really captured the small-town feel of “everyone knows everyone” in a realistic manner. Even the supernatural occurrences happening in a seamless, realistic manner. It was so well-integrated. The narrative was also successfully creepy—in a very Great Gatsby sort of way. I know I managed a few chills at the beginning, still unaware of where the story was going to go.
Characters were beautifully crafted. Their interactions were wonderful. They meant something to me as a reader, which conveyed a level of depth that many novels lack. Their stories were interesting and captured my attention consistently.
I really liked the way the supernatural entered the story and how it was described. Description was excellent, as well. It was Stephen King-esque without being as long-winded.
This was another one that I could hardly put down. It was wonderful from start to finish. An excellent representation of creepy, with a wonderful mystery thrown in. Highly recommend.
The Reminisce is about a man who runs away from a failed engagement to find solace and refuge with his sister and her partner in Coronado, New Mexico. Instead, he is drawn into the mystery of their ailing charge’s past. Ghostly visions, music, and history collide with reality in a dangerous game, Curtis cannot help but to play.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the mystery. Who was Veronica Meeks? How is it possible for her to haunt her own house, while she still lives? And how is it she seems to recognize Curtis at their very first meeting?
Besides that, I enjoyed the people portrayed in its pages. They feel real, their interactions are natural, particularly Dia and Araceli, Liz as well.
On the other hand, I thought the local law officer was a bit hard to pin down. He’d jump between talkative and suspicious. It was kind of jarring. Also, it was at times difficult to keep track of so many mysteries in one book, both past and present.
Overall, however, I really enjoyed the book. I’d recommend it to folks who enjoy historical fiction with a bit of the occult.
Review from Barbara Davis-Thompson
You Just Have to Let Go and Follow the Unexpected Events of This Spellbinding Novel
The book Reminisce by H. L. CherryHolmes has an interesting, fascinating mix of characters and storyline. Let’s start with a hunky guy, kind of a ne’er-do-well type, getting by on his charm, whose finance takes off her engagement ring which Curtis Aisling surreptitiously pockets and takes to a pawn shop. in the shop, he finds himself dodging a bullet that should have killed him and he also loses what he came to pawn.
Having nowhere to go with very little money in his pocket, he reaches out to his sister Dia for her support so he can pick up the pieces of his misguided life. Off he goes to enchanted New Mexico, to a deserted town, where his sister and her partner work as live-in caretakers in the grandest home in town taking care of the 90 something woman named Veronica Meeks living there in the late stage of alzheimers. The invalid hasn’t spoken a word for months and when Curtis meets her she talks, but only he can hear and his sister doesn’t believe him.
The mansion holds mysteries and secrets. Very unexpectedly, Curtis’ presence unlocks the past in a panoramic, episodic way that takes him into the memory of a younger, flawlessly beautiful Veronica revealing the jagged edges of her life. At first Curtis is clueless about these excursions into Veronica’s past but soon enough he begins to understand he is gifted with prescience, a gift he never knew he possessed and doesn’t particularly know what to do with or want. Curtis also begins to fear he is being subsumed by the older women with whom he has a connection that he can’t explain. As visions come to him, he time travels into Veronica’s past and meets up with the characters of Veronica’s earlier years, meeting them in various empty rooms of the mansion which suddenly come alive with people, music, intrigue, and secrets that only Curtis can see.
I won’t give away anything else about this book. You will want to read it and savor the interesting parade of characters, read about the ability to rewind time, and the transformation of a man into a much bigger version of himself. The book enthralled me and I found myself staying up almost the entire night eagerly turning pages. This book is a wonderfully entertaining read which will also acquaint you with New Mexican brujas who unexpectedly turn up in the story adding extra dimensionality to the plot and subplots!