Friday, December 9, 2016

Nancy McCabe - Following Disasters - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

On her twenty-first birthday, Maggie Owen receives an unusual birthday gift: a house. That same day, the house’s owner, her aunt, dies. For three years, Maggie has been fleeing her childhood demons: the deaths of her parents, estrangement from her terminally-ill aunt, and a betrayal by her best friend. But now her career on the road, following natural disasters in temporary insurance claims offices, ends abruptly as Maggie returns home to face her past. But why does the house hold a mysterious spell over her? Why does she have the persistent feeling that her aunt is haunting her? Why did her aunt lie to her about the circumstances of her parents’ deaths? Who is the ghost child that may be hanging around the house? And what’s with the guy next door who seems so hostile toward her? FOLLOWING DISASTERS is tightly woven ghost story that raises questions about legacies and their influence on our choices.

My Review

Perception is in the eye of the beholder. How one sees oneself can vastly differ from how others view you. Maggie Owen is a young woman, who has been misunderstood most of her life. Friends tell her that it takes a lot of work to get to know her. Why is that? Apparently, she gives the impression that she's self-sufficient, that she doesn't need anybody. Not only that, but she comes off as cynical about love, expressing high expectations that nobody can possibly meet.

But for Maggie that assessment of who she is couldn't be further from the truth. She just doesn't trust her own judgment since she's been burned so many times in the past. Mainly because she finds it incredibly difficult to figure people out. It handicaps her ability to open up. In light of her weakness, she prefers to be alone rather than risk getting hurt, again and again and again.

To her, it's comical that people think that she's difficult and complicated, because in her mind she sees herself as really quite simple. She knows who she is, but has a hard time, expressing that to others. And it's understandable why. Her father dies in a house fire when she's a little girl. Years later, when her mother dies unexpectedly, she can't bring herself to go to the funeral. While shortly thereafter, her aunt passes away without their estrangement ever being reconciled. It's clear Maggie is carrying around some pretty heavy baggage for someone so young.

To protect herself from having to share the details about her past, she's learned to make adjustments to her personality in order to survive. It's not her fault, but it also limits her ability to move forward. She literally hems herself in by moving into her aunt's house, sheltering herself within the same four walls where she once felt loved and cherished as a child, hoping to bring a semblance of that feeling back into her life again.

The book casts an interesting glance at the idea of self awareness. Maggie wants to resuscitate her heart, but she knows she can't do it alone, no matter how much she insists that she can. Despite her ardent refusal not to depend on others, deep down she realizes that she's going to need someone to get her broken heart beating again, no matter how much she hates to admit it.

She's not delusional. She knows what's going on with her. Something's wrong. Something that needs to be fixed. And maybe, just maybe, someone out there will be able to understand her without her having to explain every single detail of her life to them. They'll like her simply for the person she is.


Following Disasters can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $9.99 ebook, $16.00 paperback
Genre: Gothic, Horror, Ghosts
Pages: 234
Release: October 1, 2016
Publisher: Outpost19
ISBN: 9781944853037
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

Following Disasters is Nancy McCabe's first novel. She has also published four books of creative nonfiction, including Meeting Sophie: A Memoir or Adoption; Crossing the Blue Willow Bridge: A Journey to My Daughter's Birthplace in China; and From Little Houses to Little Women: Revisiting a Literary Childhood. She is a regular blogger for Ploughshares and has published work in Newsweek, Writers' Digest, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast, Fourth Genre, and other magazines and anthologies. Her work has received a Pushcart and six times made notable lists in Houghton Mifflin Best American anthologies.

Links to connect with Nancy:
Web Site

About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway