Review: The Number 7 by Jessica Lidh


The Number 7
Jessica Lidh
Publisher: Merit Press (December 5, 2014)

It all starts with a mysterious phone call from Louisa's decorative antique phone. And that wouldn't be so strange, except that the phone is unplugged, and has been for years. Frightened by the call and its message--and questioning her own sanity--Louisa listens as a somehow-familiar voice describes a lost family secret about Louisa's grandfather and his daring involvement in resisting the Nazi scourge in his native Sweden during World War II. Piecing together each clue she can find, Louisa begins to see how her grandfather's guilt and shame continues to haunt her own father, and the rest of her family, decades later, planting seeds of doubt that threaten to tear them all apart.
Now desperate to know the full truth, despite the charming distractions of a boy with secrets of his own, Louisa becomes consumed with her discoveries, which she passes off to her parents as a school history project. Digging through old family albums and letters, she at last begins to see that the phone call was only the beginning, and that she is the one meant to be the messenger who can bring the truth of the past to light--before it's too late for her family.

Review by Eleanor Smythe
Louise discovers she has psychic abilities, when her dead grandmother communicates with her, via a disconnected telephone situated in the attic of the old family home.
The Number 7 give us two stories that run along side each other, the present with Louise, her father and sister Greta, who are each trying to come to terms with their grief, following the loss of their mother/wife. The second story tells the secrets of the grandfather, Gerhard, told by her grandmother, which leaves Louise with a dilemma, should she share the information with her father and sister? How does she explain that her grandmother is talking to her from the grave?
Once I understood the author was taking us from one story to the other I really began to enjoy the book, and wanted to know more. Initially, because I wasn't expecting the change I found the transition from chapter 6 to chapter 7 a bit off putting, but soon got into the flow. When I came to the end of the book, I wanted to know more about her father's relationship with his parents. Why hadn't he spoken to them for twenty years. Maybe I just missed the clues on that.
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