Clear rating 1 of 5 stars2 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars4 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars Kaylee's Ghost
by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro
Ruchama Feuerman's review Nov 25, 13
5 of 5 stars Read in November, 2013
When I heard that Ms. Shapiro, author of “Miriam the Medium” had a new novel out, I was thrilled. I’d fallen under the spell of the heimische phone psychic – Miriam -- from Great Neck who inherited her gift from her Russian grandmother, “Bubbie.” Miriam returns in Kaylee’s Ghost, and now Miriam is a grandmother herself. Her prickly more straight-arrow daughter, Cara, has given birth to Violet. And what a granddaughter. Usually even great writers do a barely passable (and usually corny) job of getting into the POV of young children, but I was with this charming kid possessed of psychic gifts, all the way. The chemistry between grandmother and granddaughter is powerful and touching and at times laugh out loud funny. Now if only the Mom -- uptight Cara -- would get out of the way, stop separating these two. Because for Cara, Violet’s psychic ability has got to be the worst thing that could ever happen to her daughter. (Cara knows – she grew up with a psychic mother and wants to spare Violet that horrible fate.)
Shapiro has a genius for making the supernatural sound as natural and every day as your neighbor’s tuna casserole. I found it ridiculously easy to suspend my disbelief (in psychics) throughout the novel. It’s also incredibly suspenseful. Grandmother longing was never portrayed so acutely in literature. I positively ached for Miriam and wanted to throttle her daughter Cara for interfering between grandma and child. For that matter, I also wanted to throttle Miriam for her obtuseness, for not respecting her daughter’s wishes. But how can you hate a lady who describes her own face as a “Just Say No to Botox” ad? (But Miriam doesn’t care if she sags all over. The older she gets, the more her face resembles her beloved Bubbie’s.) I think I even dreamed about Miriam, that’s how much this character got into me. Nearly every page gave me reading pleasure. It made me think about the double-edged sword of our talents, gifts, motherhood, being Jewish and just being human. RJS -- write another!
Causes Rochelle Shapiro Supports
MADD, The Queens College Alumni Association, The Nature Conservancy, The Anti-Defamation League, The Red Cross.