Port Town, May 2002, 10.95, 509 pp.
Accepting a high school history teaching position, Jessa Jones moves to Odaire, Georgia. She finds teaching uninterested students tedious, but it brings her some income to at least the delight of her dad. Jessa decides to write her dissertation on the day to day life of a typical late nineteenth century Georgia family, the Delacroys. Rumors of ghosts add a bit of flavoring to her study.
Peer Rob Anderson teaches at the same school. He is attracted to Jessa, but outside of polite friendliness, she rejects his overtures of turning their relationship into something much more. He helps her research the library, investigate the ghost town old Sayville and interview descendants of the Delacroy family whose lives apparently ended in tragedy. As she digs deeper, strange occurrences happen to her and Rob, which leads her to believe that they are reincarnations of Delacroy with her being Josephine. When Patrick Donovan arrives, the triangle is set for a repeat of an 1870s tragedy unless Jessa can change the karma through perhaps love, but which man?
BURY THE PAST is an engaging reincarnation tale that uses a leisurely pace reminiscent of the early gait of Turn of the Screw to set the parameters of the tale before novel goes full speed. By insuring everything is in order, Jan Letoha enables the audience to believe that history is repeating the tragedy of the previous century in an eternal circle. Those fans of paranormal novels that give this book a chance to emerge will appreciate Ms. Letoha's fascinating story and will feel good karma while anticipating future works from a new talent.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner