While out and about in the car today, I used the Kindle Text-to-Speech feature to listen to Jodi Picoult’s new (FREE!) short story, “Where There’s Smoke.” I loved it. One of my all-time favorite Jodi Picoult novels is Second Glance (another is The Storyteller), and I’m excited that Picoult is again taking on ghosts and their interactions with the world of the living. I love the way she did this in Second Glance: the novel remains character-driven and has a great plot as it incorporates elements of the paranormal. Second Glance has a similar feel to Picoult’s other novels for me, and I think the strength of the characterization make this novel accessible, not only to those who enjoy paranormal novels, but to readers who tend to focus on commercial, upmarket, and women’s fiction which might not normally include any ghosts.
In “Where There’s Smoke,” the main character is Serenity Jones, a TV psychic receiving communication from spirits on the other side and struggling as we all do, to live life the best way she knows how. I really enjoyed the story, finding Serenity easy to relate to despite my initial hesitation over her profession. Though I’m interested in the paranormal (loving shows like Paranormal State, Ghost Adventures, and The Haunted), I sometimes feel skepticism when it comes to big TV psychic personalities and wasn’t sure what to expect with Serenity. Well, I loved the story and the stakes that Picoult created for this character and those around her. I’m looking forward to Picoult’s upcoming novel, Leaving Time. This novel will include Serenity, and the short story definitely worked to hook me and cause me to breathe a sigh of disappointment when I saw that I’d have to wait until Leaving Time‘s October release date to find out more.
What are your favorite Picoult novels?
Do you find the paranormal interesting?