Cat Winters' latest novel, YESTERNIGHT, explores the
concept of reincarnation as part of a story that involves a
young girl and her relationship with a child psychologist.
In 1925, child psychologist Alice Lind arrives in the
small, coastal town of Gordon Bay, Oregon to administer IQ
tests to the town's schoolchildren to identify any learning
difficulties and find resolutions. Michael O'Daire, who
mentions he has a child with a unique situation, meets her
train and enlists her help into Janie's problem.
Young Janie shows signs of being a mathematical genius and
also tells stories of a prior life as Violet Sunday in
Kansas many years before. As Violet, she drowned at age 19.
Alice has always believed that any psychological situation
can be unlocked scientifically, but for the first time, she
finds herself believing in the supernatural. As a woman in
a man's world, she has a tenuous reputation at best, so
following her beliefs will put her credibility on even
Cat Winters grabs the reader's interest from the start. She
sets her story during a time period with many changes just
prior to the depression. She brings the sleepy town of
Gordon Bay to life and inserts well-rounded characters with
realistic relationships into her tale.
The story moves along nicely with Janie/Violet; Alice and
her wavering beliefs about reincarnation as well as
wondering whom to believe; and Michael and the discussion
of why he desperately wants Janie's case to be proven as
I enjoyed YESTERNIGHT for the first two thirds and then
everything fell apart. Winters then focused on a secondary
timeline that never felt real to me. The ending didn't work
for me either. That said, it may work for others. The story
moved a little slower than my personal preference even for
the first two thirds, but I would have recommended it
regardless, but the last third lowers my overall mark. I'm
impressed with Cat Winters' premises and will likely explore
her other work in hopes that the endings will be as strong
as the rest of the story in other novels.
From the author of The Uninvited comes a haunting
historical novel with a compelling mystery at its core. A
young child psychologist steps off a train, her destination
a foggy seaside town. There, she begins a journey causing
her to question everything she believes about life, death,
memories, and reincarnation.
In 1925, Alice Lind steps off a train in the rain-soaked
coastal hamlet of Gordon Bay, Oregon. There, she expects to
do nothing more difficult than administer IQ tests to a
group of rural schoolchildren. A trained psychologist, Alice
believes mysteries of the mind can be unlocked
scientifically, but now her views are about to be challenged
by one curious child.
Seven-year-old Janie O’Daire is a mathematical genius, which
is surprising. But what is disturbing are the stories she
tells: that her name was once Violet, she grew up in Kansas
decades earlier, and she drowned at age nineteen. Alice
delves into these stories, at first believing they’re no
more than the product of the girl’s vast imagination. But,
slowly, Alice comes to the realization that Janie might
indeed be telling a strange truth.
Alice knows the investigation may endanger her already shaky
professional reputation, and as a woman in a field dominated
by men she has no room for mistakes. But she is unprepared
for the ways it will illuminate terrifying mysteries within
her own past, and in the process, irrevocably change her life.