The Grey Ones: Book 1 of the Path of the Maiden Series by Yvonne J. Smit @yvonnejsmit #BookReview

“Mum?” Can you truly see if I am lying?” Fifteen-year-old Mae, the eldest daughter of Yvonne has come across her mum’s memoirs. They reveal a hidden past. A life steeped in the Occult and all its aspects… Mae wants her mother to teach her to read the Tarot cards and Palmistry. Reluctant, her mother agrees as long as Mae promises to study the basics first and not to talk about it to anyone. Yvonne grew up seeing the ‘grey people’, they were as blurred as the people she saw in full colour. It wasn’t until she got a pair of glasses that she knew for sure… the ‘Grey Ones’ were the shades of the dead. They didn’t scare her, but… these sad souls attracted something else. The other beings of twilight, darker than the night and dreadfully powerful… It became clear to young Yvonne that not everybody can see the dead or hear their voices. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, her Grandad had been committed to an asylum. He heard voices too. Not wanting to follow the same fate, Yvonne learned not to talk about her unwanted gift. The Grey Ones is the first book of The Path of the Maiden series. It tells the true story of a young girl’s quest for becoming ‘normal’. A path of trial and error and many lies. Through the light-hearted interaction between Yvonne and her family, the Occult mysteries and paranormal phenomena are explained in a basic easy to grasp manner. Learn alongside curious Mae about the Afterlife, the Auric bodies, and the different types of entities that visit us when we least expect it and much, much more… 

First of all, thank you Yvonne for sending me an e-copy of your book, and inviting me on this tour!

I dived into this novel without really knowing what it was about; in I went, blind as a bat, because that’s my favourite thing to do. The only thing I knew, content-wise, was that this novel was about the paranormal, a topic that has always interested me, so that information alone was enough for me to want to read it. Completely unaware of the “true story” mention on the cover, I had assumed this was a thriller so when I started reading, I was surprised to find it was not fictional, but autobiographical, a memoir. This fact made things a bit harder for me: I never read (auto)biographies (except Anne Frank’s diary, and even that’s been ages), so the style took a little getting used to, and I wasn’t sure I was open-minded enough. Paranormal activity and the occult, all perfectly fine in fiction, but to present me with a book stating it’s all real… I had my doubts regarding my own ability to process that. As it turned out, I was in fact open-minded enough to enjoy this novel, though I wouldn’t call myself a believer at this point (nor at any point in the foreseeable future to be perfectly honest), but then of course, I have never had any kind of paranormal experience.

What Yvonne does is have conversations with her kids, especially her eldest daughter, about various (paranormal and other) events in her childhood, youth and adulthood. She talks about the occult, paranormal activity, the Grey Ones, … We jump back and forth in time, going from Yvonne as a small child, to Yvonne in her forties, to a teenage Yvonne, and so on. These flashbacks are always neatly marked with the year, Yvonne’s age, and the location, so it’s always clear where we are on the timeline. I did try to avoid stopping in the middle of a flashback, because otherwise picking up where I left off got a tad confusing.

I found this novel strangely addictive. I always wanted to know what was around the corner. It also has some paranormal theories, intel on palm-reading and tarot and other fun stuff, so it definitely knew how to capture and hold my attention. If you’re looking for a ghost story, or a The Haunting of Hill House remake, I’d advise you to look elsewhere. But if you’re open-minded and interested in the paranormal and the occult, then you should definitely give this book a go.

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