Review: Kindred Spirits: Ephemera by Jennifer C. Wilson

The afterlife is alive with possibility…

In this collection of stories, we follow kings and queens as they make important (and history-defying) visits, watch a football game featuring the foulest of fouls, and meet a host of new spirits-in-residence across the British Isles and beyond. 

Be transported to ancient ruins, a world-famous cemetery, and a new cathedral, and catch up with old friends – and enemies. 

Because when the dead outnumber the living and start to travel, the adventures really do begin.

Kindred Spirits: Ephemera is a charming collection of stories about your favourite ghosts!

Included short- stories are

Kindred Spirits: St Paul’s Cathedral

Kindred Spirits: Jailbreak

Kindred Spirits: Carlisle Castle 

Kindred Spirits: The Sisterhood of Hampton Court Palace 

Kindred Spirits: Leicester – Return of the King 

Kindred Spirits: The Jewel of the Wall 

Kindred Spirits: Eurostar 

Kindred Spirits: Père Lachaise

Kindred Spirits: York, Revisited

My Review:

This is a sweet collection of short stories with a common theme: the spirits are (mostly) famous historical figures who we can identify with. Also, the settings tend to be places we know (like Windsor Castle or Westminster Abbey), so we dig into the stories with the knowledge of preexisting conflicts, likes and dislikes. How would one react five hundred years later from the other side of the grave?

The ghosts are randomly thrown together and it’s fun to see how their well-known personalities interact. Events are scheduled for grand reunions and sometimes ghosts meet who haven’t seen each other since they were alive—for instance Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Arguments need to be derailed, and new ideas are voiced. It’s kind of like they are still alive, though some are missing: those who have gone into the light. Or are the missing spirits simply elsewhere?

“Just a minute.” The deep voice of their father made both men turn. The 3rd Duke of York stood, flanked by Queens Anne Neville and Elizabeth of York. “With or without warning, this might not be the most gracious of welcomes. Richard, have you even seen your brother since you died? Edward might not be happy, if you catch my meaning?”
Richard tensed. He knew exactly what his father meant. Reuniting the three ‘suns of York’ may not, in hindsight, have been the brightest idea he had ever had. Still, if he could find a way to be civil with the usurper Tudor, he could do this.
A thought struck him. “Come to think of it, what about Tudor’s brat of a son? Is he here?”
His wife stepped forward. “I spoke to Anne of Cleves after their little gathering at Hampton Court, and she assures me not. Surely Ms Boleyn reported the same to you?”

Of course, with all these royal spirits wandering around, I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to the gazillion other dead people who should be crowding them. But no, that’s not the point, is it? The spirits appear to let “bygones be bygones” for the most part, though I suspect they are only being polite. Some betrayals are just too deep to be forgiven, even through eternity.

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Meet Jennifer Wilson

Jennifer C. Wilson stalks dead people (usually monarchs, mostly Mary Queen of Scots and Richard III). Inspired by childhood visits to as many castles and historical sites her parents could find, and losing herself in their stories (not to mention quote often the castles themselves!), at least now her daydreams make it onto the page.

After returning to the north-east of England for work, she joined a creative writing class, and has been filling notebooks ever since. Jennifer won North Tyneside Libraries’ Story Tyne short story competition in 2014, and in 2015, her debut novel, Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was published by Crooked Cat Books. The full series was re-released by Darkstroke in January 2020.

Jennifer is a founder and host of the award-winning North Tyneside Writers’ Circle, and has been running writing workshops in North Tyneside since 2015. She also publishes historical fiction novels with Ocelot Press. She lives in Whitley Bay, and is very proud of her two-inch view of the North Sea.

You can connect with Jennifer online: BlogFacebookTwitterInstagramAmazon

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