J.H. Soeder

[Review by Charlotte M. Liebel © 2011

Introduction:  It is not unusual to reject an unfamiliar experience such as believing in the presence of living ghosts. However, some unexplained occurrences do happen. In J.H. Soeder’s biography at Goodreads.com – “Jon’s real story is about his quest to understand his true path and his place in life in relation to his amazing experiences…” It is, therefore, my opinion that those of an open mind will be entertained and enlightened by HADDIE’S IN OUR CLOSET [Amazon.com], which is a story from his life experiences.

An incredible tale is woven and delivered in a fast moving story called HADDIE’S IN OUR CLOSET by J.H. Soeder who is a person noted for paranormal phenomenon. As his story opens ~ a newly married couple fall in love and marry without planning a honeymoon. The new dad is swiftly introduced to fatherhood with a short introduction to his wife’s two children who are three and seven and truly disorganized. Shortly, thereafter, the family is invited to a relative’s lavish wedding with lodgings for the entire family at a Southern Plantation. As with all other decisions, the couple are quick to embark on the weekend trip and consider this the ideal invitation. Now, they not only get a bonus honeymoon but greet all the visiting relatives who attend the wedding. Of course, the bride and groom they plan to visit happen to live over 2000 miles from California in a rural backwoods suburb of Louisiana outside of New Orleans.

When Jon and Nadine arrive at the plantation, Nadine’s brother greets them on the porch. He states that dozens of relatives and children arrived earlier and now occupy the huge mansion. Rather than hassle the crowd, Julia ~the owner of the mansion~ invites them to spend their visit in a charming bungalow once known as the servants’ quarters. Their children can join the comfortable arrangement of the cousins in the house. Relatives will care for them as their own. Jon and Nadine take their luggage down the short path to the bungalow.

Nadine’s joy at the charming atmosphere inside the bungalow causes an unusual temperature increase at her remarks. Jon is keenly sensitive to the lights that brighten and the warmth of the room as Nadine hums happily. She unpacks her bags and states that she will shower. Meantime, Jon has a look around and finds a small TV, which he turns on just as Nadine comes into the room with a towel wrapped around freshly washed hair. Suddenly, and without warning, the room becomes icy cold and the couple look at each other and ask what is happening?

Jon’s mind picks-up these thoughts: “Evil…evil…work of the Devil!” Such is their new companion’s introduction. Thereafter, Jon continues this type of conversation with their temporary visitor who attaches herself to the couple: first at the cottage and later when she follows the family to California in the 21st Century.

What is so unusual is that Haddie is this elderly woman who has never been off the grounds of her Southern plantation in over 150 years. Jon becomes the interpreter for Haddie, whether she has a question for his wife or the behaviors of others in her environment. Her dialogue is outspoken and she speaks with the authority of an African-American nanny speaking to her charges whom she considers children.

Left to a growing concern between Jon and Haddie is the question about her presence in the 21st Century when she has witnessed the demise of her family and friends during 150 years. The storyteller and Haddie explore and explain the details in a plausible answer. The dialogue is astounding and thereafter left to an innate understanding by the reader. Dialogue is appropriate to the former Black slave who never married but was assigned the household duties of childcare on her plantation.

Haddie has materialized as a living ghost in the lives of the charming family of Jon and Denise. The delicately told story, HADDIE’S IN OUR CLOSET by J.H. Soeder, is delightful and entertaining. It is available at all booksellers in Paperback and eBook editions. AMAZON.COM and BARNES AND NOBLE.COM


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