Milk Carton People: The Journey by Sally Franklin Christie
Publisher: Eternal Press
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Milk Carton People is a paranormal thriller about people who suddenly find themselves invisible, able to observe things but unable to participate. Do they go mad? Maybe they find others. It is quite possible that there is no point in being invisible.
This is a book that plays on the very thin line of sanity and pure despair. The characters act and react to the new challenges and the reader gets to go along for the ride.
Overall: The blurb doesn’t do this book justice by failing to mention how creepy book this is. The author might label it a paranormal thriller, but it sure isn’t like any other book I’ve read in this genre. It reminds me of a ghost story, only the people in this story aren’t exactly dead – they’re stuck in between. It’s amazing how vivid the atmosphere and character emotions are. When a certain thing happens to a little girl – my heart completely dropped. I almost wanted to unread that chapter and pretend like it never happened because I felt so bad for her and the other characters. The only thing I can say for certain is that after reading this book, I most certainly never want my face on the side of a milk carton.
Characters: Ruth is a disabled woman who is used to being ignored and alone due to her disability. I really enjoyed her as a person. She’s reserved but sweet and mentally tough. Another character I really liked was Karen. She’s so self-absorbed but you can’t help but pity her situation. She turns invisible – and then she has to watch helplessly as her young daughter grows up without a mother. I don’t think I could stay sane if I was in her predicament. I can’t remember exactly how old Bryan is…I think 10, but I like his spunk and how self-reliant he is. It’s no wonder that Ruth becomes attached to the boy. Matt is the fourth person in their group but I didn’t connect to him as well as the others. And then there is Charles. This crazy looking guy that insists our heroine and friends are “waste of shoes”. I’m not sure what the phrase means exactly but I know stalker = bad. He is entertaining though.
Plot: Ruth goes invisible. Ruth meets other invisible people. Ruth and friends have a crazy stalker named Charles they must avoid, while they try to figure out what to do. The pacing of this story is slow for a thriller and for much of the story the characters are wandering without a plan. The creepy atmosphere more than compensates for the slow progress. I think the most heart-wrentching scenes were the ones involving the children. The author had guts to condemn even a fictional child to the lonely life of an invisible milk carton person.
Ending: The last chapter raised more questions than answers. I’m hoping that it is the first book in a series because although we find out how people become milk carton people…there is one main question that doesn’t get answered…and I NEED to know.
This is a great book for those who like the atmosphere of a well-told ghost story.
I’m going to wake up, now, and go about my day with my cup of coffee. By the time I get to work, the whole thing will disappear like all dreams. I won’t even remember it.
She turned away from the little tree and took a few steps down the sidewalk. She intended to turn back toward the book store again, to somehow retake control of her destiny. As if turning back would give everyone one more chance to tell her it was all in fun and she was such a good sport.
Just then, a woman in an electric blue colored coat, walked right into her.
“Excuse, me,” Ruth began and stopped speechless. For one long, drawn out, slow motion, nightmare second, her vision was obscured by a brownish red filter which blurred everything before her. She felt hot, sticky, and confined. A cloying odor of spoiled hamburger made her gasp for clean air. She tasted copper pennies in her mouth. At the same time Ruth heard a gurgling noise and a squeak and as the whole event suddenly ended she heard a plop like pudding falling from a spoon back into the bowl.
A sudden cold sweat competed with stomach acid lurching into her throat. Ruth swallowed it back and turned to watch as the woman in electric blue continued walking down the sidewalk without breaking stride. Ruth watched the woman in the electric blue coat disappear around the corner.
“No,” Ruth said aloud with authority. “No,” she repeated louder, hoping make it all go away. “This did not happen.”
She walked to the nearest building and stood close to the cold bricks in the shadows.
I have to go home.
About the Author:
Eternal Press Staff Member
Sally Franklin Christie has spent her life achieving incredibly average goals. Her challenges and choices have led to into the world of organizing for social change, civil rights and helping people navigate in a world filled with physical barriers and discrimination. She photographs and paints landscapes, when she isn’t at the computer researching, networking and writing. Special interests include Missing Children and Adults, Astronomy, Character Traits and Criminal Thinking.
A home schooling mother of children born eleven years apart has added to her liberal arts education. She’s had plenty of time to practice and refine the art and craft of writing coupled with opportunities to learn the marketing aspects of writing. She interned for a spell at WOW-Womenonwriting.com and currently has a position as a moderator at The Writers Chatroom. Various published articles appear in places like Pangia Magazine, Creations Magazine and other almost forgotton places. She writes one novel a year as a NaNoWriMo Participant and keeps a more serious project simmering year round.
*I received a copy of this book from FMB Tours in exchange for an honest review.*