Mr. Joe: Tales of a Haunted Life by Joe Barnett and Jane Congdon (Memoir)

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Mr. Joe: Tales of a Haunted Life by Joe Barnett and Jane Congdon (Memoir)

Post  WRB on Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:57 am

Mr. Joe is a poignant and haunting memoir of Joe Barnett's life. I love ghost stories and that's why I was drawn to this book. However, the ghost encounters were just a small part of this story. It was secondary to the story of Mr. Joe's life, from his early childhood to the present time, as he struggled to overcome a myriad of obstacles.

The story begins when Joe is 12 years old and encounters his first ghost, his Grandpop. Joe had cherished the times with Grandpop when he was alive - he had been his special friend - but now he was haunting Joe and it scared him. He felt terror when he was alone with Grandpop's ghost. Grandpop was Joe's first ghost encounter, but not his last. Mr. Joe becomes a custodian at a kindergarten school and it is haunted. The school was near a graveyard and the ghosts roamed the school at night. Ghosts would become a metaphor for most of Mr. Joe's life.

All Mr. Joe ever wanted was a real family. He never had that as a child, never being hugged or kissed - his parents never told Joe they loved him. It was a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic mother and her drinking dominated the family's life. Joe knew when he got married and had a family he would show his children how much he loved them every day of his life. Unfortunately, his marriage failed - his wife was also an alcoholic. He became a single parent and problems seemed to follow Joe all through his life. Money, or the lack of money, was always on Joe's mind - he struggled to feed his family. He was always looking for a functional life for himself and his two boys.

Mr. Joe is a simple story, but it will touch your heart. It is a story of loyalty, love and sacrifice. My rating is 3.5 stars.

I received a complementary copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review. The opinions shared in this review are my own.

WRB

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