Author Book Review

Bianca Gubalke Books Reviews 2019

Visionary Fiction by Author Ellis Nelson

“Mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write.” ~ WB Yeats

After her earlier titles – ‘Into the Land of Snow’ and ‘Elephants never forgotten’ – Young Adult Fiction author Ellis Nelson recently launched into the Visionary Fiction category with her latest novel: ‘Timeless Tulips, Dark Diamonds’.

The author has a professional background as an Air Force officer, government contractor and teacher. Having lived in Europe for a while, she now calls Colorado, US, her home.

Strong female heroines intertwined in a mystical ghost story

By revealing that she has Dutch roots and grew up in Upstate New York – an area with a strong Dutch heritage – the author indirectly sets the stage for her finely woven ghost story oscillating between two strong female heroines, two families, two epochs and two worlds: the old world in Holland and the new world in the US.

The story begins when Miles Bradshaw, an editor from New York with an admirably positive attitude, visits Amsterdam, accompanied by his younger wife Veronica – a former model and fashionista – and his 14-year old teenage daughter, Lydia. The purpose of this journey is an interview with a Dutch publishing house for a new job in the US. The crux if he gets it – and he’s sure he will: They’d have to move to the countryside . . . the worst that could happen to his darling wife who had done her best to erase her rural roots and pretends to be from the city!

Meanwhile, strange things are happening in the historic house where they are staying. Lydia is constantly under attack from debilitating migraines and ‘seeing things’, all of which culminates when her eyes reach across an old oil painting – depicting a Dutch family of father, mother and child – and lock with those of the little Dutch girl. Something mystical happens. It will never leave her again, it will haunt her, guide her, possess her . . .

YA Author Ellis Nelson knows how to thread a carefully spun tale with some little known, wildly interesting, historical facts and wonderful family dynamics. She paints memorable portraits of the different countries and eras – including the scents, fragrances, smells and stenches that so clearly define those ancient times in Holland . . . right into the New World!

As an avid reader, I enjoyed the love for details, the historic research, and the way the author stuck – with unwavering rhythm – to her theme . . . yet managed to twist it in the end, giving it elements of an early ‘Western’ followed by a detective story that could have gone awefully wrong! With lots of suspense!

A book not only for young readers but anyone who enjoys a good read between the old world and the new with a mystical twist!

Member of the Visionary Fiction Alliance