Book Review: ‘Ninth-Month Midnight’ by Marie Bacigalupo
Nine Month Midnightby Marie Bacigalupo was a deeply compelling, at times heart-wrenching story, about grief and the desperate need of a mother to reunite with her dead child. Since losing her four-year old precious daughter to cancer a year ago, Dolores Walsh has been living in limbo, like a zombie.
After a suicide attempt, she’s prompted by her husband Joe to seek the help of a psychiatrist to treat her depression. Then at a bereavement group she meets Sal Esperanza, a charismatic psychic who claims he has the power to channel the dead. Though Dolores is sceptical at first, she soon becomes intensely fixated with the idea of speaking with her daughter’s spirit.
Although Joe is against the idea and warns her that Sal is a con man after money, nothing derails Dolores from attending his seances. Is Sal, indeed, a fraud…or is he the real thing and the only person who can make her only desire in life possible?
A novella, I read Ninth-Month Midnight in one sitting and couldn’t put it down. The story moves at a fast pace, with Dolores’ desperation being transmitted to the reader so that we feel all her grief and obsession. What could be worse for a mother than losing her child?
Most women will relate to Dolores’ predicament and sympathize with her actions, even though they might not approve of all of them. Bacigalupo writes with an economy of words that is sometimes gritty, letting the action speak for the characters. Ultimately, this is a story of hope and one I was very glad to have read. Highly recommended!