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In 1910 Kilbourn, Mich., 24-year-old Perliett Van Hilton desperately misses her father who died six years ago. She’s repeatedly urged her mother Maribeth, a spiritualist, to summon him from beyond the grave, but Maribeth refuses. Because Perliett was raised by a devout Christian and a fervent spiritualist, she faces numerous conundrums: “Death was eternal, that was agreed upon. But the finality of it, the security in it, or the desperation of it? Her mind always whirled with the unanswered and the mysticism that seemed to coincide with faith.” When a young woman is murdered, and soon afterward, her sister is killed, terror grips the small town, and Perliett, who looks like the deceased woman, finds herself targeted, with no understanding of the motive of the Cornfield Ripper, as the locals name him. As Perliett grapples with her precarious situation, she finds support in the assistance of a mysterious newcomer and in the counsel of the gruff local doctor, George Wasziak, despite the fact that the educated man scorns Perliett’s claim to be a rural healer and mocks Maribeth’s assertion that she can summon the spirits of the dead.  

In the present day, Molly Wasziak is depressed and barely surviving each day as she grapples with the aftermath of four miscarriages and the growing fear that her marriage to Trent is dying. When Trent convinces her that buying a farm just outside of Kilbourn is a good idea, Molly agrees. What does she have to lose? But when she begins to hear and see things that don’t make rational sense, she fears for her sanity. When a young woman is murdered and her body left in the ditch of a neighboring farm, Molly’s terror intensifies. To make matters worse, Molly learns of another murder—not the 1910 Cornfield Ripper murders, but one that occurred in 1982. As Molly’s mental stability and her very life are threatened, she experiences renewal in surprising ways.   

In separate, side-by-side narratives juxtaposing Perliett and Molly’s stories, author Jaime Jo Wright offers adult readers a satisfying, marvelously plotted page-turner that includes heart-pounding suspense, gentle romance, humorous scenarios, and biblical insights into the practice of spiritualists. (Bethany House Publishers)


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