Mary Ann Winkowski and Maureen Foley’s The Book of Illumination is the perfect book for fans of the TV show Ghost Whisperer. After all, Winkowski was a consultant for the TV show. This book is the first in what I hope might become a little series. There’s already a second book out, The Ice Cradle.
This book follows Anza, a single mom who lives in Boston and works as a bookbinder (awesome, I know). Anza also can see and talk to ghosts. When Anza gets a temp job helping a friend rebind old books at a museum, she soon finds herself in a mystery. What do the two monk ghosts want? And could the answer be in a mysterious ancient text that has gone missing from the museum? Anza will have to rely on her psychic abilities, as well as her ex-boyfriend the cop, to solve the mystery.
This was a super fun, light hearted read. I warmed up to Anza right away. I loved how she was so happy with her life. So often when I read anything about a single mother, she’s depressed, angrey at life and at her child’s father. Anza is the opposite. She’s friends with her son’s father. On speaking terms with the man’s wife. She even babysits her son’s half-sisters. And Anza is completely at peace with her ability to see ghosts. It was refreshing for me to read about a character who was so comfortable in life, even if it’s not the life she probably imagined she’d be living.
The mystery itself was also well done. It wasn’t super intense, but it left me hanging until the end. A nice cozy sort of mystery with a ghostly twist.
There were some truly lovely moments in the book between Anza and the ghosts. My favorite ghost was Johnny, who had been a butler all his life. He asks Anza for help, which leads to some hilarious and at times touching moments.
All in all, The Book of Illumination is a great book to curl up with by the fireplace. It’s no literary masterpiece, but it is perfect if you want to get lost in a good book that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
Title: The Book of Illumination: A Novel from the Ghost Files
Author: Mary Ann Winkowski and Maureen Foley
Date of Publication: 2009
Number of Pages: 320
Source: Personal Copy