In her first novel, The Saltwater Ghost , Shiela Jane blends elements of contemporary fiction, suspense, drama, and travelogue into a page-turner. While the novel works as a Mystery, what really keeps things motoring is the reader’s curiosity – and concern – about what happens next to the well-sketched characters.
Not since Rosamund Pilcher took us to Cornwall in her masterful novels has an author brought us such sublime prose filled with beautiful locales and flawed, fabulous characters. It’s a story of tragic love and loss with a resultant ghost who affects the lives and loves of generations of Island residents. Add some regrets, self-imposed exiles ended, and a ticklish May-September romance and you have a story you will not forget.
Evocative is the first word that comes to mind. Shiela Jane has a talent for painting the scenery of a place as exotic as India in a way that makes the reader feel immersed within the experience. Her characters are also well-described so that within a page we begin to know them.
Jane, who spent part of her childhood in living in Mumbai, uses this experience to good effect in the book. Although not intended to be a social commentary, living in India during her formative years changed her perceptions about many social issues, particularly with regard to poverty and women’s issues. This knowledge allows her realistically depict the book’s Indian characters.
Great debut novel, intelligently written by quite a resourceful author. It touches on very sensitive ethical and moral issues like guilt, conscience, perception of good and evil. Multicultural picturesque setting, believable characters, and above all, distinct style of writing.
Shiela Jane dips into suspense, romance and social commentary, all with a hint of the supernatural, in her recently released debut novel The Saltwater Ghost. The result is a fresh storytelling approach that appeals to readers who enjoy high-calibre writing.
The Saltwater Ghost is the kind of book you want to curl up with the beverage of your choice, be it a cup of tea or a fine brandy, and while away the evening in other places and times. At the centre of a cast of flawed characters is Alden Jurien, a protagonist with a guilty conscience and a yearning for redemption. Alden is the key to all the disparate story lines that come together in a twist ending that is as satisfying as it is surprising.
Well-written and engrossing. Very happy to see the Maritime locale. Don’t miss this one.
This book taught me a very important lesson about “patience being a virtue”. The tale of the residual effect and enter-twining lives of the ghosts of Lainey Mercier (a young Mi’kmaq Indian girl in the 1870’s) who drowned off the coast of Saltwater, Prince Edward Island, after she felt abandoned by her lover, and a sixteen-year-old boy named Garnet Macklin who met with a life-altering, tragic fall in the same coastal area after an altercation with the friend he idolized and adored (Alden Jurrien), kept me intrigued and entertained.
The main characters were well-developed, realistic and sympathetic and made the story come alive. The unexpected ending was a delight, uniquely satisfying and made me want to cheer for the main character Alden.
This is a tightly paced, interesting tale. Set in both Mumbai, India and Prince Edward Island, Canada, Ms. Jane brings both cultures and their natural beauty to life with her words.
Bonnye Reed Fry
This book was a great, entertaining read.
Online Book Club
This is a fictional story that encompasses a lot of emotions. It deals with loss of friends, family separation, and healing. I found this book difficult to put down and read it in a day.
In The Saltwater Ghost, Sheila Jane weaves a careful plot that urges the reader to continue forward and to examine the question: can one ever really return home? Also consider: are ghosts real? Comparing Alden’s story to a legend from days gone by, one that tells of a young woman who lost her love, then herself, at sea, the setting itself (Prince Edward Island) lends a mystery to this tale. Add into the mix, Alden’s efforts to re-unite with his children, his new love-interest, and a fully unsuspected discovery at the end, and the reader is delivered a truly satisfying tale.
If you love words, like I do, Shiela Jane serves up a feast. Her exceptional plot will keep you in suspense. Often there is a sense that you know parts you don’t understand, but you believe those elements will reveal themselves sooner or later. Thus, the reader’s patience is required to allow the story to evolve. And it’s a good story.
This story is a perfect companion for your holiday. It makes no demands of you. It’s just a beautifully written chance to meet and relax with a cast of lovely people. Use of language is near perfect. By that I mean not just the dry considerations of grammar and punctuation, but the way exactly the right words were used to weave clear pictures in my mind of the scenes and the people.