Inheriting Her Ghosts is an atmospheric story set in a time of traditions and clearly defined gender roles. Eudora Fellowes is fortunate to have independent means, enabling her to avoid marriage and indulge her independent streak. It’s that independent streak that prompts her to accept an opportunity to move to the country, and it’s that independent streak that puts her at war with herself when strange things start happening.
Contrary to conventions at the time, Eudora is a logical woman and she isn’t the kind of person to be easily spooked. Still, it’s clear from the start that things in her new home aren’t what they seem. She tries to find logical explanations for everything, but eventually realizes that there’s something unusual happening.
This, of course, leaves her open to criticism from the few people she interacts with. They dismiss her as an emotional woman. You could argue that the story is equal parts Eudora grappling to understand and deal with the situation in the house and Eudora exorcising the sexist attitudes of society.
Eudora is distinct and compelling. She’s a character it’s easy to embrace and root for. It was easy to be invested in her outcome and want to see her triumph. There’s also one part of the story where Eudora touched my soul with her insight and understanding. I don’t want to quote it, because it would diminish the impact of that scene for readers, but it was one of those responses that makes it clear how much Eudora hurts, how much she understands the human condition. Although her own losses aren’t recent, we feel the echo of their pain in her words.
Where the story really shines is with the atmosphere. S.H. Cooper does an excellent job of building the tension throughout. There are also plenty of surprises along the way, making this far more than your typical haunting.
For me, this was a haunted house story that worked on every level. It draws you into Eudora’s world quickly and takes you through her journey at a brisk pace. A strong, memorable story that sneaks beneath your skin and has you checking the locks on the doors at night, and reminds you to keep some salt handy.