on April 26, 2012 :
This is not a novel, it's not a work of fiction, it's about real people, real ghosts. But that's just it... it's not. It is fiction -- at least that what you have to keep telling yourself. When Kirkpatrick writes a novel, he creates such vivid, realistic characters, that the reader would be forgiven for believing the story is real. That's where the elegant twist in this tale lies; Kirkpatrick has written it in such a way as to suggest it actually happened so much so that part of the storyline involves one of the characters writing a book about the events that were told in these pages. Caraliza's haunting photograph graces the cover of the book. This accentuates the idea that she is real. Kirkpatrick once said that he puts angels in his books. Caraliza is one such angel. She appears as a ghost, but her presence is intoxicating. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. It demands your attention, but it is a book to be digested slowly. It is not written in a fast paced style. The language almost harks back to the classics. I am once again blown away by Kirkpatrick's talent as a master storyteller. I have read another of his books Breathing into Stone, and I fell in love with the characters in that book too. To understand what I mean about Kirkpatrick's writing, you have to experience it. So, do yourself a favour and try one of his books today. You won't regret it. Caraliza is a stunning story about a 75 year old secret, about ghosts that won't go away until their story is told, about love and the power it has to survive over space and time. This is part mystery, part romance, and part ghost story. It is hauntingly beautiful. The ending is perfect. A must read.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
on Oct. 7, 2011 :
I received the free download of this book, "Caraliza" by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick through smashwords.Author Joel Kirkpatrick pulls us in emotionally from the very first pages of this sad tale of a teenaged Dutch girl sold into servitude and near starvation in an early 20th century New York slum, and the young man who is doomed to save her from her oppressor, and at any cost. Their story spans almost an entire century, full of rich, well-developed characters and paranormal twists that will keep you guessing until the complete mosaic of their life together is revealed in the very last pages. A story that is sad, chilling, and uplifting.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
on May 27, 2011 :
Author Joel Kirkpatrick pulls us in emotionally from the very first pages of this sad tale of a teenaged Dutch girl sold into servitude and near starvation in an early 20th century New York slum, and the young man who is doomed to save her from her oppressor, and at any cost. Their story spans almost an entire century, full of rich, well-developed characters and paranormal twists that will keep you guessing until the complete mosaic of their life together is revealed in the very last pages. A story that is sad, chilling, and uplifting.
(reviewed 41 days after purchase)
on Feb. 17, 2011 :
Where do I start reviewing this book. First, I wish it was a true story, because I would go there on my next vacation. Joel pulls you into this story so niely. You want to meet the characters- you will fall in love with the characters. You will feel all the ups and downs, good times and bad times. This book covers a 75 year span, at least, and you will enjoy reading about the different time periods.the only time I was disappointed was the end. Don't get me wrong, I loved the ending, but hated that it had to end!
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
on Jan. 4, 2011 :
The cover of this book is what first drew me. Caraliza, the cover, is haunting, stark and beautiful. I soon found out that Caraliza, the book, is as well. This is a story of brutality, survival, deceit, revenge, and enduring love. Kirkpatrick opens with a brilliant piece of historical fiction. He then effortlessly transitions to the current day, yet we don't lose the characters we've grown to love. They haunt us, as they haunt the pages of the book.
This isn't a fast-paced thriller, nor is it meant to be. Kirkpatrick takes his time, allowing the story to unfold at its own pace. Suspense, intrigue, despair, mystery, romance, terror, love, tragedy and hope fill these pages. By the end, I felt like I'd come to know the characters as friends. And I was sad to see them go.
(reviewed 46 days after purchase)