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March 5, 2024

The Devil and Mrs. Davenport by Paulette Kennedy ~ A Review

by Susan Roberts

The first day of autumn brought the fever, and with the fever came the voices.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of gothic novel The Devil and Mrs. Davenport by Paulette Kennedy
March 2024; Lake Union; 978-1662514883
audio, ebook, print (351 pages); gothic mystery

The Devil and Mrs. Davenport
is not a book that I'd normally read because of the psychic aspect but I'm really glad that I gave it a chance because I found it to be a well-written book that kept me turning the pages.

This book takes place in the 1950s and is a good reminder of how little freedom women had in those years.  They were expected to be good wives and mothers and to cater to their hard-working husbands.  They were second-class citizens in many ways -- they couldn't even cash a check or open a bank account without the approval of their husbands or a male relative.  This is the environment that Loretta Davenport lives in.  Her husband teaches at a Christian college and believes that his word is law in his house.   Their lives begin to change when Loretta starts to receive messages from beyond.  Her husband believes that the devil is at work in her mind and that she just has a female's imagination.  For the first time, she defies her husband's rules and starts to talk to a parapsychologist to help her understand what is going on in her mind.  She also begins to help the local police department solve a murder.  When Pete finds out, he realizes that he is no longer in charge of his family and takes drastic measures to regain his control.  Can Loretta continue to defy her husband and use her powers for good or will the things that her husband plans for her, take her back to her role as a dutiful housewife who obeys her husband's every wish?

What I liked most about this novel was seeing the evolution of Loretta Davenport and seeing her defy her husband's rules as well as the rules that society put on women during this time.  One of the most disturbing parts of the novel was the minister who tried to exorcise the devil from Loretta's mind.  

This is a well-researched and powerful look at a woman gaining strength while she fights against the norms of society and the rules of her husband to become the person that she wants and needs to be.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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