Sarah by KM Swan
By Susan Eurich
(KM Swan Books, price $12.00, available at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Crimson Ridge, Media Play)
Review by Susan Eurich
What do you do when you discover you have moved in with a ghost? Young mother Carol Benson is faced with this question in Sarah, the latest novel by KM Swan.
Sarah begins with the Bensons moving into their dream home. For this all-American family, with two kids, a dog, a cat and a cookie-baking mother, the perfect picture is now complete. However, for Carol, the dream quickly turns to a nightmare when she begins to continuously encounter the spirit of a small child.
At first, Carol doubts her sanity. I must be coming down with something, or I am losing my mind, she says to herself. She does not tell anyone and suffers in silence. As the apparitions continue, she is forced to accept the fact that it is not her imagination; her house is truly haunted by the spirit of a young girl. But who is the girl? Why is she haunting the house? Carol sets out to solve the mystery.
Sarah is Swans first attempt at suspense, and it is a decent one. As with all of her novels, she does an excellent job of character development. The suspense is built through the relationship the reader is allowed to form with Carol. We feel her disbelief. We sympathize with her as she doubts her sanity. We become just as intent on finding out why her house is haunted as she does.
Sarah takes a different approach from the average ghost story. The focus is on the human aspect rather than the bumps in the night. Carols initial fear turns to concern for the child who is haunting her house. She wants to solve the mystery so the ghost can rest. Ill try to do what you want me to do, she tells the apparition one day.
While Swan definitely seems to be maturing in her sense of plot, Sarah tends to be heavy in dialogue that has nothing to do with the story line. Though this allows the reader to learn more about the Bensons, it detracts from the more entertaining parts of the story and gives it a simplistic feel.
Swan can be proud of her growth as a writer. Sarah is a different type of ghost story. Add it to your summer reading list.