Wednesday, October 29, 2014

REVIEW: Nearer Still: A Secret Affinity Story / Melissa MacVicar

To celebrate Halloween, I'm dedicating this week to Melissa MacVicar, author of ghostly YA paranormal tales about haunted homes and ancient rituals. Part 3 of this series is a review of Nearer Still (A Secret Affinity Story), a short prequel tale to accompany the series.

TITLE: Nearer Still (A Secret Affinity Story)
AUTHOR: Melissa MacVicar
PUBLISHER: Self-Published
AVAILABILITY: Amazon (e-book only)


Young Adult - Historical Fiction

While the main books in the Secret Affinity series are paranormal tales, this little prequel short doesn't actively involve ghosts.


Expanding on the world of Melissa MacVicar's debut novel EVER NEAR, this digital-only short story explores the background of Jade’s grandmother, Winnie Ferguson, growing up as a black teenager and a budding clairvoyant in the early 1960s. 

When Stanley Irving gets arrested during a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter, he makes the front page of the Baltimore newspaper. Eighteen-year-old Winnie Ferguson’s father is furious with his daughter's boyfriend and tries to break up the young couple. Will Winnie stand up to her father, or will the pair be ripped apart by the tension surrounding the Civil Rights movement? 


Nearer Still is a sweet little tale about Winnie, grandmother to the main character in MacVicar's Secret Affinity series. It's a subtly written vignette about life as a black teenager in the 1960s, and the author clearly put a lot of effort into capturing the essence of the time.

Winnie's voice rings true, and the period really comes to life through her eyes. The heart if the story is her romance with a boy arrested for protesting segregation. It also paints a picture of what the wise old lady in Ever Near (Secret Affinity #1, which I read first) was like when she was young.

Well crafted and charming, this tale is a quick read that will leave you smiling.


Melissa MacVicar has lived most of her life on Nantucket Island. A true native, she’s able to trace her ancestry back to the island’s first settlers. After attending The Pingree School, she went on to graduate from Franklin and Marshall College with a degree in English. She also received a master’s degree from Boston University School of Social Work. When she turned forty, Melissa decided to renew her adolescent passion for fiction writing. Having once thought writing a novel to be an impossible dream, she’s proud to be achieving her childhood ambition.

Melissa currently lives with her husband and two children on Nantucket where she teaches 7th grade Writing Composition. When she isn’t teaching, parenting, and writing, Melissa enjoys running, eating expensive chocolate, and watching her beloved Patriots. 

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