There are two strands: first the story of Razi Nolan, growing up in New Orleans in the 1920s, smart, fearless, set on breaking the comfortable family mould by making a career as a doctor. Then she falls in love with Andrew O'Connell and her plans become complicated. She is never able to tell Andrew what she has decided about her future as, one summer morning, she accidentally drowns. By choice, and from where she narrates, she stays between this world and the unknown; every memory of her life remains perfectly intact. More ...
There are two strands: first the story of Razi Nolan, growing up in New Orleans in the 1920s, smart, fearless, set on breaking the comfortable family mould by making a career as a doctor. Then she falls in love with Andrew O'Connell and her plans become complicated. She is never able to tell Andrew what she has decided about her future as, one summer morning, she accidentally drowns. By choice, and from where she narrates, she stays between this world and the unknown; every memory of her life remains perfectly intact. More than seventy years later, Razi finds Andrew's once-treasured bookcase at a garage sale. She watches a young couple take it home, Amy and Scott, burdened with secrets of their own. As their once close relationship unravels, Razi remembers her past with Andrew and how she comes to understand what their love ultimately taught her, how he coped after her death, and how the story of Amy and Scott reflects so much of her own.
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Most of the reviews I have read for this book have been glowing and I was looking forward to reading it. I wish I could be more eloquent in this review but frankly I found it lackluster and boring. I took it on an airplane with me for a 4 hour flight (not adding the one hour boarding wait). I always take two books on plane because I can read nearly through each one on each leg of the trip. I finally finished this one three days after my trip. I found it more entertaining to read the in flight magazine/catalogue-twice. Maybe the meaning or 'transcendance" was lost on me. I just found it to be a wandering of durge. Other people have liked it though so it may be your cup of tea. It does not go in my lending to friends box but in my donation box.
Apr 22, 2007
Life after death?
This hauntingly beautiful novel is Domingue?s debut and she writes with an obvious knowledge of Carl Jung?s concepts of psychology. As she states quite clearly at the beginning of the book, ?meaningful coincidences? enter the picture of our lives and we are forced to ask questions such as whether there is life after death ? in fact, the book is what Jung would call a mandala: It completes a full (magic) circle. This is something he called a ?symbolic representation of the ?nuclear atom? of the human psyche?. For Domingue, this includes love which, as the cover mentions, ?transcends all barriers, including death?. Raziela, called Razi by friends and family, dies and rather than going to ?heaven? she ends up in a kind of hell between. Here and there she comes into contact with others between (funny enough with one who has ?a bee in her bonnet?) and learns how to cope with her existence after she left her body behind, tongue in cheek: without losing all her marbles! The force that keeps her going is to find out what really happened to her college sweetheart, whose life she thought she was trailing, only to discover that that was not ?her Andrew?. Could it be that ?my Andrew? is somehow related to Amy (my A)? As she pieces his life together ? ironically along with another character called ?Captain Jigsaw? ? several ?skeletons? fall out of the family cupboard and Razi can be freed from her bond. This is a book for those interested in all things spiritual.
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