Review: The Last to See Me

The Last to See MeThe Last to See Me by M. Dressler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Last To See Me
By M Dressler

Reviewed by Jay Gilbertson

Who doesn’t like a ghost story with a twist? Or, in this particular story, several twists, and some nasty turns, add a tragic love story, a blood-thirsty rose bush and, of course, the ghost. Welcome to Benito, California, home of the renowned Lambry House and where most of our story unfolds. Ellen DeWight, short, firecracker real-estate agent representing the Lambry property, is showing the place when our story begins and Emma Rose Finnis makes her ghostly debut.
“…He reached out for his wife, his love. But she wasn’t there. Because a blackness, a blackness only a ghost can summon, was opening underneath them. His wife was near his feet, being pulled under. Pulling at him…He fell to his knees with her. He felt her wet, sinking cheeks. He reached for her arms. But his hands fluttered, thrashing, in something else. Water, water rising all around them.”
Enter Phillip Pratt, ghost exterminator extraordinaire, armed with his magic wrist-thingy, we are literally off and de-haunting! This tale seems to be set in the near future when ghosts are considered something in the realm of a pest to be gotten rid of. Cleaned is the term author Dressler offers and how this is done exactly is slowly revealed as the layers of history behind Emma Rose’s need to haunt the Lambry House are peeled away.
When Emma Rose was a young nineteen-year-old, she drew the attentions of Quint Lambry. He, belonging to the well-to-do Lambry clan versus Emma, a mere washer-woman of a lowly class, set Quint’s mothers mind to task. She had to get her son’s obvious intentions banished from that wretched Emma. So, off to Lighthouse Point Emma was sent to become housekeeper for the assistant lightkeeper and his growing family.
Though Quint does find his way out to the Point, and visits Emma Rose nearly every week in the beginning of her exile, things soon spin out of control. You’ll have to find out for yourself what sends dear Emma to her haunting prison of the undead.
Dressler does weave what could be her own version of how love can undo you. How it can become this thing that blinds, that quite literally becomes your ruin, the ghost is ultimately the haunted until set free. The imperfect metaphor for love’s much darker side.
“I wonder if the living understand how ghostly love is, truly, how hard it is to put your finger on it…Is it love when your feet move faster and the lane seems suddenly twice as long…Is it love when you see the future stretching out in front of you, endless as the sea?”
Though I did have to re-read the final chapter in order to grasp all that Pratt had set loose in his haste to exorcise the Lambry House of its ghostly inhabitants, I was happy to learn that in the end, it was Emma Rose who—

• You’ll have to ask Emma
• Happy Haunted Halloween!

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