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Book review: Light ghost story 'Parrish' is a fun read despite loose ends

Posted May 16

"PARRISH," by Shannen Crane Camp, Future House Publishing, $13.95, 170 pages (f) (ages 10 and up)

At the beginning of Shannen Crane Camp's "Parrish," Sadie, Brighton, Deacon and Jefferson are underemployed by day, ghost hunters by night. Money keeps getting tighter, so when a mystery ghost-hunting gig comes from an unknown personage hinting at a big payout, the friends eagerly accept.

They become engrossed in the century-old tale of Eva and Thatcher's doomed romance, and the veil between the living and the dead grows increasingly thin. But the most startling revelation for Sadie and Jefferson comes as each realizes there is more to the other than meets the eye.

The charm of "Parrish" lies in its cast of characters. Sadie's quest to be normal, Brighton's courage and anxiety, Deacon's bravado, and Jefferson's brooding all drive the story and keep the many travel scenes from getting stale. Readers will appreciate Jefferson as a romantic male lead, but his intensity may be off-putting to some.

"Parrish" isn't a typical ghost story. There's no blood, gore or fear of paranormal vengeance. This novel is more of a love story to the other side, celebrating whimsy, hope and the unknown. Readers shouldn't expect every loose end to be tied up, either — Camp prefers a little smoke and mirrors over revealing the man behind the curtain. According to Camp's website, "Parrish" is the first book in a planned series.

"Parrish" contains no violence, sexual content or profanity, and it is very light on macabre for a ghost story.

Rachel Chipman has a bachelor's degree in family life and human development. Her current goals are to read more, write more and learn to type while holding her infant daughter. Her email address is racheldchipman@gmail.com.

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