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Retro Reading: For Love of Audrey Rose by Frank DeFelitta

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At the end of Audrey Rose, Janice writes a letter to Elliot Hoover telling him that she and Bill have put their apartment up for sale. She also suggests that they’re going to move to Portland, Oregon because that’s where she’s originally from.

Then you have a title to a sequel that really doesn’t make any sense. Maybe if “the” was added to it, it would probably have a more meaningful impact. But then again, it could have another title and still leave you scratching your head.

In all honesty, a sequel really wasn’t necessary.

As this story begins, a reporter writes about the past events between the Templeton’s and Elliot Hoover. It takes approximately twenty five pages to recap (and moving to Portland isn’t mentioned).

After the reporters story, the first part of the book deals with Bill.

It starts a few hours after Ivy’s death and the eventual breakdown of Bill. He can’t help but blame himself for her death and seeks answers by becoming obsessed with early religion and reincarnation. His obsession has driven him to being a patient at a sanitarium.

On the other hand, Janice seems to be the voice of reason by getting herself a job as she tries to comfort Bill.

As his obsession begins to get out of control, he has her running all over New York tracking down rare books and conducting interviews with people until she finds a baby that was born at the exact moment Ivy died.

After finding a baby, she goes to the family and is unsure if Ivy has been reincarnated and lies to Bill. Somehow he finds out (my mind must have been wandering at this point) and escapes the sanitarium.

Janice begins to break down and is sent on a business trip overseas and decides that she needs to find Elliot Hoover in India, so off she goes.

It takes forever to find him and she talks him into returning to New York and helping Bill.

Back in New York, he’s not successful at reaching Bill and while Janice pleads with him, he walks away and disappears.

Janice tries to get through to Bill while Elliot opens up a clinic for children in his hometown of Pittsburgh.

He takes in a young girl named Jennie who was found abandoned and studies her. She only speaks in numbers and then sends for Janice.

Together, they wonder if they can use the little girl to convince Bill that she’s the reincarnation of Ivy.

Because this is again a very heavily narrative book, it’s very easy to find yourself not really paying attention as to what’s going on and a lot of what was going on, I basically missed.

Why?

I had so many questions as to how could Janice spend so much time away from work, how could she afford the sanitarium bills (and still afford the rent for her apartment) and if she was moving on with her life, why would she continue to help Bill?

In this sequel, Bill is worse than Elliot was in the original and while Bill seems to accept reincarnation, he puts up a wall around himself and you would think that just maybe they could possibly study the prospect of reincarnation and work together. It doesn’t happen that way.

The subject of reincarnation is still fascinating and with the events of the first book, I had hoped that there would have been some type of story here, but sadly there isn’t.