Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Priest, the Witch, & the Poltergeist (Barbara Wade Rose)

The Priest, the Witch, & the Poltergeist by Barbara Wade Rose has one of the most interesting reasons for existence I’ve ever heard.  One routine day at the dentist, Rose picked up a book on the paranormal to take her mind off her upcoming procedure.  She began to read about an 1851 trial in Cideville, France, and was inspired, through a ton of future research, to turn the events into a novel.  What results is one of the most interesting books I’ve read in awhile about something I knew nothing about.

A suspected poltergeist is causing havoc in the Cideville parsonage and rattling Father Lariat and the rest of the inhabitants.  After a failed exorcism and séance, Lariat is convinced that the poltergeist is the doing of a local witch, Thorel Felix.  Felix and the rest of his coven are desperately trying to get their leader released from jail, but Lariat had a huge part in putting him there.  After an altercation between Lariat and Felix, the person who is brought to trial isn't whom you would expect.  

This book is filled with interesting characters, and you’ll probably feel sympathy for those who, in ordinary society, aren't usually considered “sympathetic”.  Much to my surprise given the title, The Priest, the Witch, & the Poltergeist, I was not particularly filled with much suspense as I read (In other words, if you're looking to be scared, you should probably go elsewhere.).  Even so, the events of 1851 are interesting enough in and of themselves to become the basis of a great work of historical fiction.  So be glad Barbara Wade Rose had a dentist appointment that day!