For 75 years, May Elizabeth Trump has liked being on her own. Whenever she has company like from her cheery friend Margaret, she allows them begrudgingly. One day after a visit from her friend, May chokes on a cookie and dies in her home. At first she is dismayed by how her life ended but becomes pleased to be free of unwanted people. Her perception changes when May comes across Mr. Kibbles, a big furry orange tom cat she had, who died the decade before. This encounter makes her realize she does not want to be alone. She wants to be around others, and she starts by letting someone know she has died.
May starts with her neighbor Mr. George Chimers, but upon hearing a voice without seeing a person, he scurries away. May continues her search with Mr. Kibbles in tow. She does come across someone who sees her, but it is another deceased person – Penny, a neighbor. Penny wants May’s help to communicate with her daughter Chloe so she can continue her college education and hold onto the family home. This meeting between May and Penny lead the two to figure out through trial and error that May in death has become a medium or psychic. Quickly they gather friends together starting with Margaret, who is part of the Thursday Night Club, a group of elderly ladies who have tried to contact the dead for years. All of them work together holding séances in Penny’s home so May can pass messages from the deceased to their living family members. The séances become popular fairly quickly, and the money flows in to help Chloe. However, dark forces come after May and the other deceased.
From the first page to the last the story Peter John weaves feels genuine. It is not full of contrived events such as the dead constantly terrorizing the living or turning the interaction between them into a long dragged out joke. There were two weak areas in the book. For one, I felt he struggled to tie in the Soul Stalkers storyline sufficiently with that of May, Penny, Chloe, and the Thursday Night Club. The other was what happened between the Soul Stalkers and the deceased ghosts at the church. It was not completely clear to me if the Soul Stalkers destroyed May, or if she did survive as the last chapter implied how Mr. Kibbles stopped it. I re-read the confrontation in the church onward hoping to catch what I may have missed, but it read the same as the first time. However, these two issues were not significant enough to take away this book’s charm for me, nor its unique take on the afterlife and the living they leave behind.