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Midwest Book Review

02-27-15  - Diane Donovan

                It's rare to find a book with a cast of characters (six) who embark on a spiritual journey together; and rare to find these protagonists so diverse in their perspectives and needs - but The Author ~or~ The Characters' Short Living Story is such a story, and is a recommended pick for readers who want to follow along in a search for truth and wisdom. 


Much like Carlos Castaneda, Joseph Campbell, or other mystical travelers, The Author provides the questions (in the form of its characters and their struggles) and documents the process of questioning, observation, analysis, and spiritual awakening.


Each chapter is a part of this process, with the Author's own brand of observational style translating ideas into events: "A big bang of millions of questions pondered and twirled in their minds as each of them thought independently, separately, uniquely; . . . creating. . . And this is it; this is the moment. My dear Reader, This is the red color of the unbitten apple. This is precisely where we will come back later on together and ask ourselves . . . is ignorance bliss? . . . This, my dear Reader, is where I wish to be . . ." 


This quote is just one example of this process: if it's not an embracing feel that is desired from a fictional narrative, then move on. The tone and chatty portents continue deepening as the band of six make their uncertain journey and uncover truths about their own life or death status, the presence of fear and the promise of transformation, and, most of all, the influence of choice in such an environment: "It’s the way you see it.” Kimberly said, turning to the graves, “We can make snowmen or throw snowballs with this amount of snow . . .” She smiled into the frowns of the characters, “He wants us to be weak and afraid . . .” Kimberly whispered, staring at the path with her soggy eyes." 

Keep in mind, these are characters exploring not just a strange new world that has tossed them all together, but how they are made and unmade, with an omnipresent Author adding elucidation upon all: "…you all make up my face in this story, like brushed colors reflecting through your eyes, as if the sound of a melody harmonized each other in every moment that has passed, as if the sculpt of a body moves gracefully in dance, as if life’s purpose were just to live and relive so one would feel alive . . ." 


This ethereal, observational tone is not for everyone. If a quasi-spiritual set of insights wrapped in an experiential voice and fueled by a journey aren't desired, it's time to move on. Ultimately, The Author is about knowing oneself and developing fully into one's being. 

And there's much, much more: couched in the guise of fiction, The Author ~or~ The Characters' Short Living Story may prove difficult to easily categorize, but one thing is certain: those on a similar life journey will find it compelling, reaching out from darkness with inspirational light. Will the characters meet the Reader? That remains to be seen… 



- Diane Donovan

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