Book Review Surrounded by Ghosts by Janet Larkin

17436874Title: Surrounded by Ghosts

Author: Janet Larkin

Genre: Non Fiction, True Haunting

Rating: 3 stars

Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide

Purchase: Amazon, B&N

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

As a newborn, Janet Larkin died and came back to life. At three her sister drove over her skull with a tractor. And when she was eight years old, she had a conversation with her dead grandmother.

So began a life full of ghostly encounters. When she was still a girl, Janet received forewarning of a triple homicide next door and saw the ghost of one of the victims. In their Memphis apartment, she experienced a terrifying being posing as her husband. Growing up on an orchard in the 1950s, Janet has seen more than her fare share of spirits and spooks. In Surrounded by Ghosts, Janet recalls her creepiest stories and grapples to make sense of a life overflowing with unexplained phenomena.

Surrounded by Ghosts is the written account of Janet Larkin, who has been seeing ghosts ever since she was eight years old. When she was a newborn, Janet died and came back to life. She had another traumatizing accident during her youth, and when she was eight, she had a dream in which she met her deceased grandmother. If her ability to see the dead and communicate with them is because of her passing away and coming back to life, remains to be seen, but it certainly seems plausible. Ever since she met her deceased grandmother, Janet has been seeing ghosts way too often to ignore.

One of the accounts in the book is how Janet received a forewarning of a triple homicide about to happen next door. She deals with this quite well, in a very rational way, not blaming herself for being unable to do something about it – which lots of others certainly would have. That’s an example of how she behaves throughout her life as chronicled in the rest of the book, with a certain passivity when it comes to the supernatural. She’s not an actor, more like a victim, a person who dreadful things happen to. Instead of taking charge of her abilities, she appears content to let them slumber.

Then there’s the demons and angels, which turned an otherwise believable and relatable story into something almost unbelievable. At some point, Janet has an encounter with a demonic entity posing as her husband in her appartment. I’m wondering if maybe this wasn’t a hallucination. Why would a demonic entity pose as her husband once, and then leave her alone for the rest of the time? Why would they have it in for her? And why, after this encounter, did they leave her alone?

When taking only the ghostly encounters into account, the book is an easy read, and it’s not hyped or sensationalized. I liked the writing style – it was simple and to the point, and didn’t distract the reader from what Janet Larkin had to say. Overall, this was a decent read, but it could’ve done without the demonic encounter or the angels – especially if so little proof was given.

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