Psychology has always interested me. I think that’s why I love psychological thrillers, I enjoy the mind games, I like trying to think ahead and guess what is going on.
Though I would not describe Cat Winters’ Yesternight as a thriller, per se, as a book featuring a psychologist as he protagonist, it definitely fit the bill for a book of mind games.
Alice Lind is a traveling school psychologist who, in a remote town in coastal Oregon in the 1920s, is faced with a question she’s isn’t sure psychology can answer. A seven-year-old claims she lived a past life as a woman named Violet Sunday and died a tragic death at the age of 19. Though she can offer many facts and details about this Violet Sinday, no one is sure where they are coming from.
Naturally, Alice Lind has her own haunted past, and as she is pressured to explore the idea of reincarnation, the lines begin to blur between what she is doing for Janie, the young girl, and what she is doing for herself.
I’ll give a fair warning, the book packs several punches, some red herrings, and in the end, it’s not a nice and tidy, happily ever after ending. And I love this book for that.
Although the book is looking at Janie, and Alice is trying to reconcile psychology and the idea of reincarnation, it’s almost a given that Janie is telling the truth about her past life. Where the mind games come in to play is in Alice’s life. It’s the guessing game about her own past, what horrors lurk there, and why.
This book also explores what it was like for a woman in a man’s world during the 1920s, while also exploring a theme of head versus heart, science versus supernatural.
The only issue I take with the book can be either inconsequential or significant, depending on the person. Winters’ writing did not make the book feel like it was set in the 1920s. I had to constantly remind myself where in time we were. There were hints, references to crank engines and Model T’s, but the characters did not talk as though they were outside the present, and some descriptions painted images of modern scenes, not something nearly a century ago. For some peopl, that might be a deal breaker. But I believe the story can stand without it, the story could be set on present day and be equally as effective.
Keep an eye out for Yesternight by Cat Winters, coming in early October. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.