The White Hart by Leslie W P Garland

The White Hart by Leslie W P Garland
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (73 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The White Hart: A happy ghost story, if there can be such a thing!

“Not everyone who is enlightened by an angel knows that he is enlightened by him.”

Told by a likeable male chauvinist, bachelor and keen fell-runner, Pete Montague recalls three strange incidents which he initially thought were unconnected. The first is his encounter with a little albino deer which he found in the forest when he was out for a jog. The second is that of a chance meeting with a beautiful, young but somewhat enigmatic girl in a remote chapel, and of their conversation in which she told him of the tragic story of the daughter of the family which built it. And the third incident ……

The dead have plenty to say if we only know how to listen to them.

One of the things I appreciate the most about Mr. Garland’s writing style is how much attention he paid to the small details in his scenes. The way he described what it felt like to walk through an abandoned garden or a crowded pub meant that I always could imagine exactly what his characters were experiencing. He knows exactly how to focus on one or two ordinary but somehow still unexpected items in order to make a reader feel like they’ve just discovered that stuff for themselves. This is one of the many reasons why I enjoy this author’s work so much.

There was a character in this book whose backstory was never explained. She played such an important role in the plot that I would have loved to know more about her. To be honest, I expected the narrator to at least mention how she was connected to the main characters in one of the final scenes. While I have a theory about what that connection might be, it would have been nice to know whether or not I was right about it. With that being said, this is a minor criticism of something that I otherwise deeply enjoyed reading.

When can seeing a spirit be comforting instead of sad? This question rolled around in my mind quite a bit as I read. The answer didn’t come to me easily, but I was fascinated by the idea of having this kind of paranormal experience without feeling frightened or depressed by it. It’s not the sort of experience I’ve seen a lot of in this genre, and that made it stand out to me in a good way!

This is part of a series called The Red Grouse Tales. While all of the tales in it can be read as standalone works, I highly recommended checking out the entire collection if you liked this one.

The White Hart was beautiful and heartwarming. It’s the perfect thing to read for anyone who is in the mood for a surprisingly upbeat ghost story.

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