Second chances. That’s what Michelle M. Pillow’s Order of Magic series is all about. From getting explanations from a cheating husband to saying goodbye to a loved one and moving on, the midlife ladies of Freewild Cove, with the help of a medium’s ghost, were able to say goodbye to their past and move on to new, and better, adventures.
If I was moved by all three of the first stories (you can read my reviews of all three here – Lorna, Vivien, Heather), it was almost nothing compared to Michelle M. Pillow’s latest PWF story, The Fifth Sense, which starts when the ladies are moving into Old Anderson House.
In fact, it starts a few months before, with what was probably the scariest I’ve ever read of anything Michelle has written so far. I will not say more, but will only say that it was nightmare inducing.
The new character, Sue Jewel, is an abuse victim, which made me ache for her so much that I often had to stop reading for wanting to hug her very tightly in the middle of all my tears. The weight of the secrets, the way she did everything to keep up appearances, even after her abusive husband died in a car crash when she was the one he intended to kill (no spoiler there, it’s in the blurb), it was difficult, at times, to read on, because I could feel Sue’s pain acutely.
When her house starts sending her messages, on top of one of Grandma Julia’s rings, Sue flees St. Louis on a bus and finds herself, with Fate’s help, in Freewild Cove, where she meets and becomes friends with Lorna, Vivien, and Heather, but also meets Jameson Lloyd, whom she develops an instant connection with.
Will Grandma Julia’s ring work its magic again in the face of Sue’s traumatic past?
A book that gives hope
I did feel for Sue throughout the whole book, wanting to revive her abusive husband just so I could kill him again, and again, and again, and hurt him as much as he’d hurt her. However, the story was written in such a way that we ended up being completely hopeful.
In my case, it also made me hope that all abuse victims could have the kind of second chance that Sue has been given: the chance to start over with the help of friends who will do everything to ensure their safety.
I know that this is impossible, but it made me wish it just the same. It is this hope of brighter days which drives this series, and Michelle M. Pillow does it in a masterful way, once again.
Yes, the original trio are still as lovable and funny as ever, and Julia has found new tricks from the beyond in order to make us, more often than not, laugh until it hurts. And there’s Jameson, a main man after my own dreams.
But what remains after turning the last page is the smile which comes with the hope this book gives us.
The more I read this series, the more I love the three main characters, and Grandma Julia, but also the new ones who add their own twist and personality to each story, only making me want to read the next one as soon as possible. (No pressure, Michelle!)
Five stars that I wish could be much more! ✰✰✰✰✰