Title: In the Limbo of Luxury
Author: Traci Harding
In: Ghostwriting: Tales of the Supernatural (Traci Harding)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Fantasy, Feminism, Ghosts
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘None of us do,’ Marion added, and all three women raised their skirts and then giggled at Riane’s shocked expression.
Riane finds herself stuck in limbo one snowy, stormy night. And nothing goes as she expects.
The ending of this story was completely different to what I expected – and honestly, all the better for it. Riane’s strength and independence, her very place in the world is placed under strain and, like diamonds placed under pressure, the resulting heroine that is displayed is a gem beyond compare. The haunting ending also hints at many happy events in her future, even though, at the conclusion of the story, and following her final decision, there is no hints as to what this may be.
From the beginning, Riane’s romance with Marcus is both tantalisingly beautiful and eerily unsettling. It is impossible to quite put your finger on just why it doesn’t sit well and there is something that doesn’t quite add up. The storyline tears you in two directions – one part is embracing the luxury and romance of Marcus’ domain; yet another, quieter aspect of the story screams at you that not all is as it seems. This fine balance between the two conditions of Riane’s fast-burning flame makes the entire story impossible to put down. The haunting hints of the bridal waif compound this in a way that is so vivid and spine tingling that this is one of my favourite ghost stories thus far.
The theme of forgiveness followed the overarching idea of being oneself for oneself (rather than sacrificing everything for the sake of love). The very act of forgiveness helped to remove the lingering effects of limbo on the ghosts, and in doing so, allowed Riane to hope for her own future. The closure provided by this picturesque moment will remain splashed across my eyelids for a long time yet.
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