Two Types of Loneliness *contains spoilers*

Remembrance. It can help us to move on or keep us bound to the past. Memories can bring us back to happier times or help us to avoid the situations where we were in trouble. The main character's family moves into an old house and Evan, the protagonist, is not comfortable in this new home. The book Beating Heart: A Ghost Story by A.M. Jenkins reminds me of the time where I moved into my house many years ago.

My house was an old, small ranch house that did not seem the cleanest. When I first moved in, I was about eight years old. I would sit on the countertops dangling my feet, looking around and observing the worn- out wooden floor and unfinished walls of paint while taking in the smell of faint mold near one of the rooms where most of the leftover boxes would be placed. I still remember the distinct smell to this day. When Evan moves into this new house, he is skeptical. The house was very old and it would often make noises. His mother said to always look on the “bright side” and think of this house as being vintage. Being a writer, his mother is always at home but rarely spends time with her children, which Evan has gotten used to. When Evan sleeps his first night in the spacious house, he has dreams about a beautiful girl. These dreams are full of lust and he thinks about the girl in his dreams all day long when he already has a girlfriend! His girlfriend, Holly doesn’t know much about Evan’s life and is finally invited to his house. Strange things start to happen from the perspective of the ghost and it keeps you wanting to read more. The dreams Evan has may be caused by the ghost who haunts this house who also may be the same girl in his dreams. Feeling distant with his family, Evan starts to be kinder to his younger sister. When this little girl constantly asks Evan questions about a “visitor” in a white dress that she had seen roaming around, his suspicion and curiosity start to invade his thoughts.  Who would’ve thought the little girl could see ghosts! Being able to see the ghost yet not communicate, caused the little sister to overflow with curiosity as well. Evan neglects his sister and is once again alone. The isolation he feels in this new house may be the trigger for the ghost to consume him mentally and spiritually. While being surrounded by others in the same household, he still felt that loneliness inside of him.

A few days after moving in, my parents had to start working again. I was alone and unsocial. Yet, I too was getting very used to this feeling of being alone. I was physically by myself in this house whereas Evan was mentally. Moving to a new town either gives you the chance to start a new life as a new person or make you feel that longing sensation to go back. Evan and I were both. With the help of his mom, he starts to unpack all his belongings and place them in his room. It started reminding him of his house before, so it gave him both a sense of security and yearning. In my experience, once I put all of my old belongings into my room, it reminded me of my last home as well. I realized how small this current house was and I wanted to go back. I missed my bigger house and being able to make much more noise. The 5 years I spent in the tiny house changed me to become a more independent and calm person. I started to enjoy having a lot of time to myself rather than comparing my family to others. For Evan, he realizes that being in a different house isn’t that bad and comes to terms with his life and how it won’t change. His mom will still be a writer whether or not she is successful and sooner or later he will have to leave for college. In the book, the perspective of the ghost, Cora, is written in the format of a poem and the readers can have fun reading the words that are scattered all over the pages. Each chapter the point of view changes and the situations match up perfectly. In the end, Evan and Cora’s lives come together to make sense of everything.

I finished this book in a couple of hours and was the fastest read in my life. I recommend reading this in a day so the words are fresh in your mind and the ending is ultimate. For how short the book was, it really resonated with my life and I’d like to know your response if you have read this book! How would you react if there was a ghost is your house?

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