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The Weeping by O'Dell Hutchison Review and Guest Post

Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Twenty years ago, Catherine Whitley was the victim of a horrible crime. Betrayed by her friends, including the boy she loved, she was left to die when the Rock Harbor Opera House caught fire, taking a disturbing secret with her to her grave.

Seventeen-year-old Heath Ingram was driving the night his Jeep careened off the road, killing three of his closest friends. Once a popular, outgoing athlete, Heath now suffers from severe depression and crippling anxiety. His parents decide to send him to stay with his uncle in Rock Harbor, Oregon for the summer, praying that by getting away he will be able to put this awful tragedy behind him.

When Heath starts working at the newly renovated Rock Harbor Opera House, he meets Molly, a young dancer who awakens in him a desire to start over and move on. But, when he begins having visions of a half-burned girl in a white dress, he starts to think he may be slipping even further over the edge.

As the apparent hauntings become more intense, Heath begins to fear for his safety. With the help of his friend Josie, Heath discovers an unsettling secret that ties the mysterious girl to both their families. When two of their friends die unexpectedly, Josie and Heath realize that something, or someone, is after the children of those who wronged Catherine, and they are next.

Goodreads Summary

This novel reads like a well-written horror story.  The reader will be instantly captivated by the very first chapter in the book, where a young girl cries out for her boyfriend only to suffer a terrible fate.  Heath, the main character, is no stranger to loss.  He believes himself to be the killer of three of his friends, their deaths due to an unfortunate accident.  His parents figure that the best way to remove the problem would be to remove the boy from all objects, areas, and people that will continually remind him of the accident.  Heath is sent to live with his uncle.  There, he is distracted, but not in the way his parents imagined.

Heath's character is sympathetic; the reader will feel bad for him and his part in the early demise of his friends, that memory will always be tough to live with.  Although Heath can be grumpy and sullen, he still makes for an interesting main character and one a reader can connect to.  When Josie appears in Heath's life, the reader may decide what he/she thinks of her.  She can be annoying, but she appears genuinely interested in Heath-but for what reason?  Molly is more of the love interest; she is viewed as kind, intelligent, and quiet.  Catherine, the ghost of the girl mentioned in the very first portion of the book, has every right to be angry.  Her story develops over the course of the novel and the reader will be drawn to her story and the obvious feelings of love, hate, and hope she emits to the reader.  The other characters round out the novel, but they do not affect the novel as much as the ones mentioned above.

The events of this novel are fast-paced and the undertone of the book is eerie, perfect for this story.  Heath leads the reader through the novel with Catherine filling in the gaps.  The reader will not expect the twists and surprises in this book, nothing is very predictable.  The ending will both surprise and satisfy the reader.  Young adult/teen readers should take a look at this book!

4 Stars

Find this novel:
Barnes and Noble

A haunting we will go...

I have a very overactive imagination, especially when I’m scared. It really kicks into high gear when I’m lying in bed at night. I can easily take a small thump, which is more than likely something harmless such as the refrigerator kicking on, or the house settling, and turn it into a full-fledged zombie attack in a matter of seconds. As I lie frozen in my bed, I’ll quickly run through my plan of attack:

Grab the old wooden rocking chair in my room and smash it to pieces against the wall.
Take one of the wooden legs and use it as a weapon.
Run to the living room, wielding said wooden sword and grab my keys, phone and dog.
Fight off the zombie who managed to break in through the window.
Barely make it to the garage, open the door and prepare for the horde of undead waiting to eat my brains.
Start the car (praying it actually does start), then plow my trusty Nissan backward, mowing over the flesh-eating monsters trying to get to me.
Flee to safety.

Once I have my plan, I eventually fall asleep, surrendering myself to a barrage of crazy dreams.

About five years ago, I was at a local theatre painting the set for a show I was directing. It was over the Christmas holiday and my entire crew was out of town. It was the perfect time for me to get the painting done without any distractions. I locked all the doors, turned on the stage lights so I could make sure the woodgrain effect had the proper shadowing, and set to work.

About an hour later, as I stood on the ladder painting away, I heard what sounded like footsteps walking up the stairs to the tech booth. I glanced up and thought I saw someone walking through the booth. I called out, asking if anyone was there, but received no answer. A few seconds later, the stage lights went out. Luckily, I still had the work lights for the stage, so I wasn’t totally left in the dark.

I climbed down from the ladder and walked out to the lobby, my mind racing with who it could possibly be. It was well after midnight, and very unlikely that anyone other than my stupid self would be at the theatre that late. The doors were locked and firmly closed and all the lobby lights off, just as I’d left it. I walked up to the booth, calling out for someone, but no one answered.

I walked into the booth, checking both spot lofts and found no one up there. I turned the lights back on and went down to finish painting.

No sooner had I climbed the ladder when the footsteps came back. This time I glanced up to see the shape of a man standing in one of the spot lofts watching me. The stage lights were so bright I couldn’t see who it was. I climbed down from the ladder, shielding my eyes and walked to the edge of the stage. I was both a little freaked out and a little pissed that someone was messing with me. When I got to the edge of the stage, the figure was gone.

I decided I was done for the night, and walked back to put the lid on the paint can when suddenly, all the lights went out - stage lights, work lights - everything. Thankfully, I had a small light on my keychain to help guide me out of the theatre.

Since that night, I’ve had other encounters. One night, several of my crew members for another show I’d directed claimed to see a man standing in the second floor scene shop watching them during the show.

During a sold-out performance of yet another show I’d directed, I went upstairs to watch the show from the spot loft. I was up there alone, but after the show, several of my cast members asked me who was in the loft with me. I insisted that I was there alone, but they all claimed someone was standing behind me.

My logical self has many explanations for what could have happened on those occasions: The power went out the night I was painting and the thumping noises I heard were probably just the ice machine or the building settling. My crew probably just saw a piece of wood in the shape of a man standing in the scene shop, or maybe a homeless person wandered in and got lost (It could happen). Whatever the case may be, I had plenty of inspiration for “The Weeping”. Thanks to my overactive imagination, and maybe even a little help from a wandering soul, I was able to take all of these events and mold them into a tale that combines two things I love the most: Ghost stories and theatre.

Have you ever had a close encounter with a ghost? I’d love to hear about it.

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Thanks for the review and for participating in the tour!

  1. Vicki said...:

    I don't really remember any actual ghostly encounters happening in my life - just reading a lot of them and my imagination sort of hoping they would happen. Yeah, I was the kid who really wanted to be haunted; my mind made up crazy stories about how there was a ghost living in the attic we didn't have or the trees would come to life during as storm and steal little children. So while I've no real ghost encounters to date, there's still hope.

  1. Christina Kit. said...:

    I loved how your story kinda inspired you to write the eerie parts of the book!

    And it's great when you can relate to the MC. Heath sounds awesome.