Sometimes the dead come back. Whether that's a blessing or a curse is entirely a matter of perspective.
David is a 12-year-old boy in 1976 when he first discovers Rebecca Anne, the young black girl living in the abandoned culvert by the bay. Captivated first by her, and then her harrowing story of murder and ghostly revenge, he joins her in unearthing the secrets of her past.
Sheila is a young wife new to Manhattan when the Twin Towers come down, apparently taking her husband with them. And yet she insists that he is not dead, only missing. As the months go by, her stubborn hope wanes, leaving her to confront an even older loss, a decades-old emotional scar that will no longer stay buried.
Two stories, perfectly intertwined across the decades. Two people awaiting the return of the dead, one with morbid terror, the other with dwindling hope.
And in the end, both tales culminate in one kiss between life and death, secret and hidden beneath the canopy of the weeping willow, and the breeze of the bay, and the embalming black shroud of the Nightmare Pearl.
©2016 G. Norman Lippert (P)2016 G. Norman Lippert
Note: In exchange for an unbiased review, the author, publisher, and/or narrator were kind enough to provide an audio version of this book at no charge via AudiobookBlast.
This was my second G. Norman Lippert book. The first one was Red Eye, and based on that I figured this one would be similar in nature - some supernatural/creepy stuff mixed with maybe a bit of true to life mystery (because of the "missing" husband). Now I realize I had no clue what I was getting myself in for with this one.
But that doesn't mean it was a bad thing. By the time it was nearing the end, and the two different (seemingly unconnected) story threads were woven together in the beautiful way they were, it wasn't disappointing at all that this was something totally unexpected. Part of that was because the story itself moved along at a good pace, not getting bogged down with unnecessary exposition. And the other part of that was because of the narrators - they did an excellent job. The author pulled off some great writing tricks, too - leading you to believe or think something completely off-base before it all ties together.
But in the end, this is a love story, carried out in a beautiful, heartbreaking manner. Recommended.
Willy Wonka of it
This story is split into two parts and is wonderfully woven-together to dole out morsels of truth until all is revealed in a satisfying and emotionally-charged conclusion.
The first part, "Weeping Willow" is told by "David" and takes place decades ago (the late 70's or 80's if memory serves -- it's not important). It's the story of an encounter he has with a young girl who was hiding out near his grandparents' home in Ohio (he's from Brooklyn).
The second part, "Lost Things" is told by David's wife Sheila (don't worry, you realize this pretty soon, so it's not really a spoiler) and follows her journey in "the futuristic year of" 2012. It picks up months after the Twin Towers fall in NY as she is trying to figure out what happened to David (because he's NOT dead, she can feel his heart strings!).
While the writer does a good job of making both halfs mean something to the other, in my opinion, "Weeping WIllow" is the meat and potatoes of this story. It could have been the whole book and I would have been thoroughly pleased.
"Lost Things" feels more disjointed and uninteresting. It feels more like a distraction from the true story, and stumbles over itself a few times while trying to make itself come alive. It does (come alive), though that is mostly due to the ties it has with "Weeping Willow". It's not all bad however, it just pales in comparison to "Weeping Willow". Without "Lost Things", Nightmare Pearl may have felt more like a well-developed short story than a short novel.
David's narrator did an excellent job bringing a childhood summer of mystery and intrigue to life. Sheila's narrator was very good, but sometimes read with awkward pauses in odd locations that could be distracting. This may have been down to the production however.
As I mentioned, the ending is thoroughly-satisfying. It even includes an unexpected epilogue that brings even more life to the tale. Although I received this book for free in exchange for taking the time to write a fair review, I can honestly contend that it's well-worth a credit.
Love gritty mystery thrillers.
This book was listed under horror so I was expecting just that. The first half of the book I kept waiting for something to happen but the story is more like 60% drama, 35% suspense and 5% horror. It starts off slow but its because of all of the necessary character and plot building. I was hooked on the story after an hour and listened to the whole thing in one sitting!
The most memorable moment was an AHA moment. This was when David introduces Becca to his grandmother. I won't spoil it for anyone by going into detail but that scene hooked me and kept me guessing and guessing for the remainder of the story.
I had never heard either of the narrators before but they were great. Kimberly reminds me of the narrator from "Gone Girl," Julia Whelan. She has a very modern sound to the way she narrates. Anyone that listens to many audiobooks should know exactly what I mean by that. Steve took a little more time for me to warm up to and not because he wasn't a good narrator. His voice just wasn't what I would expect for a horror novel. Now that I have listened to the whole thing, his voice made sense and he prefectly cast because this story is more heart than horror.
The title Nightmare Pearl seemed off to me although I get why it was named that. I actually thought at the end of the book that it should have been named "Just Missing."
This is a great book if you like suspenseful stories with characters you will route for. I couldn't put the story down, it was that good however if you are looking for blood and gore, pick something else.I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.
I'm a cheerleader for authors, narrators and audiobooks I love! All things Romance, Horror and Sci Fi
This is one of those books that defies categorizing, it's part mystery, part ghost story but above all it's a love story. It's two stories told several years apart and intersects at the end.
Adolescent boy David befriends Becca a black girl living in an abandoned culvert In the early seventies, even though she's aloof they almost immediately form a close bond to one another.
Meanwhile in future Sheila an aspiring writer loses her literary agent husband in the collapse of the twin towers during the 2001 terrorist attacks,'and she cannot accept the fact that her husband dead.
How these two stories are told is done so beautifully and with such tenderness. You can't help but be touched by the conclusion.
The only weak part of this book is in the narration, Steve White does an awesome job and I could listen to him read any book! He's just that good. But the production quality of the portion read by Kimberly Meciti is poor and it jarring, especially after the smooth delivery by Steve. Kimberly is a decent narrator, it's just the production that's bad.
Overall though the book still rates 4 stars.
This audiobook was given to me at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review, thanks Audiobook Boom.
“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”
This is two stories interwoven that delivers mystery, suspense , coming of age, romance, and hope for what is yet to come. I found this riveting, holding me in it's spell until the last page.
The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed.
I'd say The Nightmare Pearl falls within the mid-range of all audio books I've listened to so far. I'll admit I do enjoy a horror story with lots of gore so I may not be giving this story justice. The Nightmare Pearl would more appropriately be categorized as a clean feel good scary story rather than a nightmarish bloody horror story.
What I liked best about the story is that I would considered this book to be child appropriate. This story is something you could easily listen to as a family.
Steve White did a good job during his portion of the storytelling using good voice inflection throughout. It kept the story entertaining to listen to and the characters unique.
I was honestly not very impressed with Kimberly Meciti. Character tones and her narration felt mostly monotone and I found myself losing interest.
Rebecca Anne was the most memorable character to me. Her family and living conditions where definitely a shock and left an impression throughout the story. Her character was very well developed.
The story is kind of like a cross between the 1999 movie The Sixth Sense with Bruce Willis and the 1990 movie Ghost with Demi Moore.
The story revolves around two main characters who are married. The husband, David, tells a story of his childhood adventures during the three weeks he spends at his grandparents home. There he befriends a girl named Rebecca Anne who is homeless living in a drainage pipe. The character development of Rebecca Anne is well done and gripping. The wife, Sheila, tells a story of her growth as an author and with her struggle accepting the tragedies of September 11, 2001.
I did not find any part of the story inappropriate for kids. I'm not saying its a kids story because it's not. It is clean enough that I wouldn't have had a problem with my kids listening to the story.
I would've given the story four stars but I found the story hard to listen to during Kimberly Meciti's portion of the storytelling. I think Kimberly's heart wasn't in the storytelling to be honest.
The story isn't heart pulsing like Rambo or Saw. It's a feel good scary story that leaves closure at the end despite the tragedies. There definitely a few good twists to the story to keep things interesting. Not my first choice for a personal read but a good choice for a family read.
This audio book was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.
Not too bad. The book was slow at times and I had a hard time getting through those parts. Other aspects of the book was good, such as the mystery and suspense. The narrator did a good job.
This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.
Two tales intermingled over time, each coming to the same climax, the return of a lost loved one, with polar opposite perspectives. Love and dread permeate this dual story, just as it so often does in real life.
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