Book Detail

Seeing the Light

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4.00 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)

$4.99

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All Marie wants is a normal life. She isn’t going to get it.

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Winner of the 2015 Speculative Fiction Award for the Alberta Book Publishing Awards
A complete list of winners can be found here.

Marie Jenner has never had much luck. Her job sucks. Her apartment — the one with the unbreakable lease — has a ghost. And worst of all, her mother won’t let up about her joining the “family business.” Since that business is moving the spirits of the dead on to the next plane of existence and doesn’t pay at all, Marie’s not interested. She wants a normal job — a normal life. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Apparently, it is. Even when she applies for the job of her dreams, Marie doesn’t get what she wants. Well, not entirely. She does get the job — but she also gets another ghost. Farley Hewitt, the newly dead caretaker of the building, wants her to prove his death is not an accident, and she’s pretty sure he’s going to haunt her until she does.

All she wants is normal. She isn’t going to get it.

***

“In Seeing the Light, E. C. Bell conjures up a beguiling new character in the form of Marie Jenner – a working stiff with a gift for seeing stiffs. Her job hunt leads her to a building teetering between historic designation and demolition, and a ghost who is teetering between worlds.


Marie Jenner, with all her strange gifts and loveable foibles, will win you over immediately and leave you hoping for more. Seeing the Light is a terrific read, and its wholly believable speculative filter on everyday Edmonton is a treat. You’ll be wondering whom you might have walked through for days.” – Janice MacDonald, author of the Randy Craig Mystery series.


“E.C. Bell’s down-on-her-luck heroine is a bright new light in Canada’s genre fiction scene. This enchanting debut is a little bit fantasy, a little bit mystery, and a whole lot of awesome.” – Chadwick Ginther, Author of The Thunder Road Trilogy.

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2 reviews for Seeing the Light

  1. 4 out of 5

    First of all? All book that uses the verbs hut-hutted and hut-hutting? That’s a book for me!

    Seeing the Light is a fun paranormal mystery that is set in Edmonton. Reading a book set in the city you call home is always at least a little fun because you get to pick out the landmarks, guess at some of the settings and fully visualize others, so let’s face it, between that and the hut-hutting I wasn’t ever going to hate this book. But those aren’t the things that made me really like it (and I DO really like it).

    I like it because the main character Marie is a snarky but flawed heroine who alternately had me completely on her side and made me want to scream at her and Farley, her ghostly sidekick, is simultaneously a real asshole and completely sympathetic. In other words? They felt like real people. Nuanced and complicated, people.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Don’t be mistaken by the title — this story is no yawn-fest guide to spiritual growth. Marie Jenner is an endearing down-to-earth protagonist who takes us through her chaotic quest to become normal, at a pace that flows briskly and probably doesn’t indicate Marie’s going to achieve her goal anytime soon, either. She whines but always just enough to keep the reader sympathetic, and never tips into the realm of a bleeding heart. The treatise of helping spirits move on is handled in a unique and very real way, with life’s messiness that neither Marie nor anyone else can ignore. The ghost development and execution are not what you’d expect, and smack into reality in surprisingly thought-provoking ways. I had a few issues with some plot points and character motivations that didn’t seem realistic, but things kept moving quickly enough in an interesting direction that it was easily forgiven. The overall resolution of the central conflicts is very satisfying, which is quite an achievement given how easily the material could have been painted with broad brushstrokes of sappy, cliched inspiration. I’m interested to see how Marie grows and develops in the series, and am willing to endure more raised eyebrows of people thinking I’m a hyper-conservative Christian hoping to find my inner light as I read.

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