Book Review: In The Presence of Spirits by Barbara Parks

13604243Title: In The Presence of Spirits
Author: Barbara Parks
Genre: Non-Fiction, True Haunting
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
Publication Date: September 8th 2012
Goodreads | B&N | Book Depository
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Traumatized by vicious poltergeist attacks that lasted five years, Barbara Parks never imagined that her deep-rooted fear of ghosts would disappear. A momentous turning point occurs when, still mourning the sudden death of a beloved friend, she receives a miraculous visit from him. This joyous experience marks her first step toward healing–and opening up to spirit world.

In the Presence of Spirits chronicles Barbara’s uplifting, personal journey of gradually accepting and embracing the clairvoyant gifts that allow her to see spirits. She shares dramatic and heartwarming stories of interacting with spirits who turn up everywhere: at home, on vacation, and accompanying her patients. From the departed uncle that protects Barbara’s young children from grave injury to the child spirits who bring comfort to their parents, these amazing true tales are convincing reminders that our loved ones are never far away.

In The Presence of Spirits was an enjoyable read about the paranormal in daily life. The author, Barbara Parks, has been confronted with spirits ever since she was a little girl. The house she grew up in was haunted by both friendly and angry spirits. She spent most of her youth trying to get over the traumas related to her house, and only grew to accept her paranormal gift when she became older.

I wasn’t always sure if the author wasn’t embellishing the truth here and there, but I chose to put my worries aside and give her the benefits of the doubt. The simplicity of this novel, in that it choses to recall both small events as larger ones, shows the truthfullness of most, if not all, events, in my humble opinion. The author writes well, although at some times I found the pace a tad too slow and the narrative a bit too descriptive. There was a large gap between the childhood events and when the author truly embraced her clairvoyant gifts at a later age, and everything between that gap progressed slowly.

I’m a big fan of these true haunting novels that relate to the author’s life in particular, and I found that, when compared with other similar books, In The Presence of Spirits ranks quite highly. There’s genuine emotion, sometimes good, sometimes bad, behind these pages. The line-up of ghosts is ever-changing, unique and interesting. I was surprised by how well the author dealt with her abilities later on in life when she seemed to have so much trouble coping at first, and I’m very happy with this change in feelings towards her clairvoyance. It would be a shame to throw such gifts away, or to fear them.

For fans of true hauntings, check out In The Presence of Spirits. It’s a genuine-sounding account that steers away from things one would only encounter in horror movies, with raw emotions dripping off the pages and offering a mix of intriguing, soothing encounters on the one hand and creepy, hair-rising on the other hand.

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