Maybe a wild ride in a shiny black Mustang convertible, and some mother-daughter bonding is exactly what Dr. Kathryn Bailey needs, when she agrees to a road trip with her mother. Escaping the aftermath of a nasty breakup, and seeking to heal her broken heart, Kathryn has no idea what awaits her in the forested mountains of Elk Horn, WA.
While traveling back to her favorite childhood destination, a run-in with the sexy town sheriff sets Kathryn on an unexpected course; one that may very well change her life, especially after becoming witness to something only spoken of in the hushed voices of local legend.
When a horrific event rocks the sleepy, rural town, only days after her arrival, Kathryn is immediately drawn into a mystical world of sacred legend and folklore. Suddenly, she must question not only her eyes, but her beliefs.
As she comes to terms with these newfound experiences, will she come to know that with love, believing isn’t always seeing?
We often think of death, and what awaits for us on the other side. Some of us, in the "believers" category, would even venture to say there is wonder, and love, and light, so pure and dazzling in Heaven; and perhaps fiery and anguish in the depths of Hell. We don't know what awaits for us. We just know that death is certain. Life should be treasured and lived, because we are never guaranteed our next breath.
As a doctor, Kathryn knows full well about dealing with the precariousness and preciousness of life. She tries to patch our bodies up as best as she can, hoping and praying with us that we can make it to another year, another milestone that we feel we must cross.......but in the end, our paths won't waver. We may be granted another chance, but it's still there. Death looms over us, watching, waiting and I'm sure, very bored with our bargaining and pleading with a thing that is certain.
And then there's Armel, Death's servant. He is neither here nor there, but serves as a guide to help us get from this side through whatever awaits for us on the other side.
This book felt like a buildup of something grand, and it didn't disappoint as it climaxed to the finish. There is certainly wreckage, and disbelief. Mass confusion and heartbreak. I'm not sure how I can cover all of it in one swoop. But, trust that there is something deeper within these pages that isn't just about a doctor and an quasi-angel of death, or how she escapes from one cheating and wayward heart, and runs into the solid and steady heartbeat of her soulmate. I cried over some parts, especially regarding the relationship of a mother and a daughter. It could be that I am emotional from having to enroll my first child in Kindergarten this week, and seeing that at some point I need to let go of her. I do hope, and pray to have the same crazy relationship with my daughter as we both age as I love the dynamic between Kathryn and her mom, Claire. Those are my hashtag mother/daughter goals.
No, in between a lover's meeting, and hugging it out with mom, Gloria Herrmann takes us on a beautiful walk with Armel, as he 'collects souls.' As scary as that is to lose someone we love, I can only imagine how scared and lonely it will feel when we realize our time on Earth is up. I'm sure it's comforting to imagine that someone that used to be one of us, a man who knew life and death, love and grief; someone who has seen it all through the ages. To have a friend, and not an angel who can't imagine why we cling to life so much when there's so much more waiting for us on the other side.......why we have to bargain so loudly to hang onto all of this much life here.... no, it's easier and comforting for us to imagine a friend will be the one to help us go through this door into the afterlife.
Thank you, Gloria, for taking me on a walk deep in the forest, and reminding me for a moment that life is simple - we live, we love, we die but we just complicate things because that's what we do. But in the end, it won't matter who we were in life, because we all have to go through The Pass Through.
*** sidenote: this is most definitely not a Christian or a clean book, as there is sex in here. But I love the idea that there exists angels and spirits among us. Call it the Catholic in me and the belief in purgatory. Or my Filipino blood that had to read this only during the daytime, because we're a very superstitious bunch, and something about the supernatural gives me the heebee jeeves if read in the dark. Whatever you want to call it, I chose to read this story because I found the blurb intriguing and the idea of Armel, and his goodness, and his sacrifice is haunting; and his interactions with angels, only add more questions to what we don't know. This was a neat take on what we don't know about death, angels, souls, or what the Great Taker (Death), or the Creator (God) looks like. So if you want to read a lovely novel about all of this, pick up this book. If you are disheartened that I choose to read something that wasn't a Christian novel......I hope and pray that it takes more than a novel to sway your beliefs. This was a great read for me.***
About the Author
Gloria Herrmann is a romance author living in beautiful eastern Washington. She is an avid reader and lover of words, and becoming an author has been a dream come true for her. She still pinches herself all the time and wonders how she got so lucky.
Her debut novel, Loving Liam, the first book in The Cloverleaf Series was released in October of 2015, and three more titles from that series were released by Limitless Publishing. Gloria wrote Single in Seattle, a three-book erotic contemporary series that will be released by Totally Bound in 2017. She has several self-published titles, including The Pass Through, which hit #1 in Native American Literature on Amazon.
To find out more about her books and current projects, please visit the links below.
TOTALLY BOUND PUBLISHING:
Book Club Pick: