Review: This will be the third piece I have read and reviewed for Michael Phillip Cash and I thought that it was a very interesting little novella. It took only a few hours to read and it had a few twists that made it seem a little more of an original take on the classic ghost story.
What I really liked about this piece were all the different characters that were part of the history on "The Hanging Tree". I think that the old woman was probably my favorite and seemed to be the most fleshed out of all of them. She had a great deal of black humor, which drove the story forward for me. Without Goody Bennett I don't really know if I would have enjoyed the novella as much.
The weakest part of the piece was really the overly done beautiful but virginal girl not willing to give into carnal desires with her handsome, popular boyfriend. All this, of course, takes place on lover's lane with evil lurking within the branches of the big tree above them. For this storyline to be successful in any way, it needs to stray away from that and not come across as a warning to all young girls about premarital sex.
I think that Cash had a new take on part of that storyline by having the ghosts within the tree become active players. He brings each of their storylines through their eyes instead of having some other main character retell them like a history of the area. Sometimes, however, there are places in the novella where the point of view of these ghosts get blurred and does create a small amount of confusion while reading.
Outside of some editing issues with respect to typos and chapter cut-offs/beginnings, I thought it was a rather easy read. Anyone that enjoys a simple ghost story during a rainy night would enjoy this book. But if you prefer to be scared out of your mind while reading ghost stories, you may want to skip this one. I didn't find it all that scary.
Rating: 3 out of 5
I was given a copy by the author for an honest review via Bostick Communications; I was not paid to do this review.
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