Publisher's Note:  

Annabelle Aster doesn't bow to convention-not even that of space and time-which makes the 1890s Kansas wheat field that has appeared in her modern-day San Francisco garden easy to accept. Even more peculiar is Elsbeth, the truculent schoolmarm who sends Annie letters through the mysterious brass mailbox perched on the picket fence that now divides their two worlds.

Annie and Elsbeth's search for an explanation to the hiccup in the universe linking their homes leads to an unsettling discovery-and potential disaster for both of them. Together they must solve the mystery of what connects them before one of them is convicted of a murder that has yet to happen...and yet somehow already did.

The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster

by Scott Wilbanks

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Overall Review:  

First, I would like to point out how wonderful and intriguing the cover and title of this book are. Now that I have that taken care of, we can get on to more important things, such as whether or not the story inside this book is as wonderful as the cover. The answer? A resounding yes!

What would you do if you woke one morning to find a house has sprung up in your wheat field? More curious still, what if a wheat field appeared in the front yard of your house in a bustling city? This is the dilemma with which Annabelle Aster and Elsbeth are presented with one day. These two protagonists take turns narrating this book that falls somewhere between fantasy and fiction; a book with a story quite unlike any other that I have read. This book reminds me of some of the fantasy novels I would read as a young child. There is a bit of magic, a door that leads to who knows where, time travel, and mystery. The only thing that makes this story different from those tales is the violence that occurs throughout.

This story was almost constantly moving forward fast. There were a few parts that began to drag just a bit, but then something would happen to make me wonder what was around the next corner, or laying within the room with the closed door. This book is so much fun, and I hope other readers find just as much satisfaction with it as I did!

Review of Advance Reader Copy

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  3 religious exclamations; 8 mild obscenities; 3 derogatory names; 5 scatalogical words; 3 anatomical terms; 1 F-Word derivative.

Violence/Gore:  Death is mentioned; a bug is described as being killed and in agony before it dies; a character threatens trespassers with a gun; a character has a nose bleed; a character mentions her parents are dead; bullying is mentioned to occur; a character is reported to have been found dead from a knife wound; characters are briefly depicted stabbing a character three time and blood pooling around the character's dead body; a woman is mentioned to have died during childbirth; a cadaver is viewed and blood is mentioned to be evident in a brief description; a dead character's finger is cut off; a woman injures a man and some blood is described; a man and a woman threaten each other with weapons; a man hits a woman multiple times; several brief scenes occur between characters of intense violence, blood and verbal and physical threats.

Sex/Nudity:  A woman is mentioned to be seen in public in just her undergarmens; a man's chest is seen briefly by a woman; an adult couple kisses each other once; a man forces a kiss on an unwilling woman recipient; two men kiss romantically.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death, personal crises, violence, murder, magic, illness.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A man drinks beer; wine bottles are seen; a man smokes; a man goes out for drinks; bourbon and scotch are served in one scene.

Reviewed By Lydia
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