Falling in love is never simple. Especially when you're dead.
When Rosie Potter wakes up one morning with what she assumes is the world's worst hangover, the last thing she expects is to discover that she's actually dead. With a frustrating case of amnesia, suspicious circumstances surrounding her untimely demise, and stuck wearing her ugliest flannel PJs, Rosie must figure out not only what happened last night, but why on earth she's still here.
Slowly the mystery unravels, but there are many other secrets buried in the quiet Irish village of Ballycarragh, and nobody is as innocent as they first appear. Aided by the unlikeliest of allies in her investigation, Rosie discovers that life after death isn't all it's cracked up to be, particularly when you might just be falling in love...
Previously if you had said to me - there's this book about a girl. She is a ghost but is still wandering around her small town in spirit form (in her pyjama's no less) trying to find out who killed her. Would you like to read it? Straight away I would have turned my nose up at this. I don't like stories featuring ghosts, call me a disbeliever I need something I can grab on to and not spend half the book going sure this would never have happened! So when I began The Secret Ever After Life of Rosie Potter (R.I.P) by Kate Winter I had no expectations. I confess to not even having read the blurb before hand so I had no clue what this was about. To be honest it was the fabulous, colourful cover that first attracted me to this book. But right from the very first chapter I knew I was in for a real treat, a bright new talent is emerging with Kate Winter and I'm pleased to say she is Irish too. Between the pages of this début novel is a clever, witty story told extremely well in a fresh, exciting, original way. I galloped through this in a few hours laughing out loud at all the funny Irish mannerisms and ways Kate has slipped in throughout the book and at such sharp and on point writing.
With R.I.P in the title you could be forgiven for thinking this is going to be all doom and gloom and a book full of sadness but this is so not the case. Kate has chosen a sensitive topic and turned it into something new and readable. Yes, initially you do feel sad the main character Rosie Potter has died but throughout the book I felt she was still alive and I was right there alongside her as she observed her friends, family and boyfriend Jack as they coped with this unexpected tragic event. I even forgot she was a ghost and just ran with the story so engaged was I with these characters. Told entirely from Rosie's perspective not once did this book slow down or become morose. It was funny, entertaining and jam packed with a range of characters that all had something to hide. Never would I have thought this book would have me chuckling away to myself one minute and then shouting out go on Rosie the next. At first the fictional town of Ballycarragh in the West of Ireland appears a sleepy little place. The regulars prop up the local bar McMorrows (where Rosie works), the duo of Seán Senior and Seán Óg protect the town in their role as gardaí and life for Rosie and Jenny is happy in Honeysuckle Cottage. But this idyllic peace is shattered when Rosie is discovered dead in her bed with a bullet hole though her head.
With Rosie being invisible to everybody (except one person who we discover later on) the author really was free to let rip with this character. I fell in love with Rosie's ballsy, up front attitude as she wanders around seeing how people are attempting to move on whilst still fearful a murder could be on the loose. She discovers what people really think and what they get up to once the doors are locked late at night. Things her best friend Jenny kept hidden from her become clear and although upset at these secrets Rosie knows she must see the light (so to speak) and kick wayward boyfriend Jack into shape. The scenes where Rosie haunts Jack were just hilarious as it shows revenge is oh so bitter sweet. Jack may have been presenting one side to Rosie but on the quiet he likes to have his way with the ladies no matter the age difference. Rosie is given a chance to reflect on her life and the one thing she wants to know is - why is she still here haunting the place? This doesn't become clear until near the end point, in fact it is not actually stated why but from the wonderful magical scenes that unfold the reader knew Rosie had one last job to do. A confession/revelation to be revealed and resolved.
Having the ability to look at things from a different viewpoint allows Rosie to see things in a whole new manner. Jenny wasn't always happy and her abrupt arrival back from Dublin should have set alarm bells ringing. Jack is up to things behind everyone's back and the once sleepy town is well and truly alive and kicking. We get glimpses back to Rosie's childhood where days were spent annoying her brother Chris and his best friend Charlie.The author teases us here alluding to a love that is there but cannot but grasped. Well when Charlie came on the scene that was me gone head over heels he had a piece of my heart, he was the perfect gentleman, a man who cares for animals but still retains that certain enigma and curiosity that makes all the girls weak at the knees. I won't reveal anymore about Charlie except that is crucial to the storyline and to Rosie.
I kept thinking how is this going to end, if Rosie came back to life at the end I would have been so mad, such a cop out after creating an intriguing new unique way of telling a story. If 'magic' had come into play I may well have thrown my Kindle down in disgust. But no the author went all out and with a twist that came form nowhere but was excellent we got a worthwhile conclusion. It did wrap all the loose ends and having the last few pages detailing what all the characters got up to after the book finished was brilliant. It gave a real sense of finality to the story and I was left both satisfied and relieved at the outcome. Too often authors give us the conventional happy ever after ending that for me is becoming clichéd and boring but here Kate Winter stuck to her guns and I applaud her for that. Does Rosie wander eternally around Ballycarragh? Do we discover her murder? Does she get the happiness she needs and deserves? Well don't hesitate to buy this outstanding book and find out.
Kate Winter I think Hollywood may come calling on this one, I couldn't find one fault with this book and would love to see it on the big screen. Full of believable characters, a funny yet emotional storyline done in a surprising way this had all the elements that make for a fantastic read. Kate please hurry up and write number two.In fact do nothing at all but write (stop climbing those mountains you told me about or even the cow tipping) and give us the next few in straight succession because I've caught the Kate Winter bug and I need something to fix it immediately. Simply a stunning, sublime read that you I urge you to pick up today.
I'd like to thank Emma for reviewing this eBook which she received from the publisher via NetGalley.