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Stop Your Digging Through The Indie Slush Pile--This Is The Book,
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This review is from: My Memories of a Future Life (Paperback)
If you've had great success as a blogger and writer of a writing how-to book, it's best if your own work is put on stage under another name. Readers are going to be more critical, expect more, and the fall could be very long nightmare if your book doesn't come up to your own instruction to others.
Roz Morris, writing under her own name, has nailed her novel. Wow! She's nailed it with a solid blow powered by fine writing, skilled storytelling, excellent pacing, twists, turns, and a story that both entertains and informs. What a welcome relief spending time under the spell of such a skilled artist.
This is the pop age of ghosts, vampires, and assorted paranormals. In the midst of the craze, Roz Morris has created something unique, something that truly haunts the reader long after the book is done, and plants questions in the reader's mind that echo throughout their own continuing experience beyond the book. I was raised by a working mother and stay-at-home grandmother, the latter having been the high priestess of a metaphysical church during the spiritualism of the 1930s. I thought I'd heard it all and there wasn't anything new to be added to the occult. Wrong. The imagination of Roz Morris has taken spiritualism into new territory. Even my grandmother would have been mesmerized.
From the very first paragraph, where the protagonist is struggling with the yoga trend in hopes of healing a mysterious malady that threatens her identity and lifestyle, the writing is clean and captivating. No clever names for this writer's protagonist. No, it's simply Carol, a name suggesting it could be you, it's probably me, or perhaps my neighbor in more distress than I realize. Even the malady that threatens Carol seems like one we're familiar with, but no, it's doesn't quite fit the profile. It's different from what we'd call a Repetitive Stress Injury. Just a bit off kilter, as are the panic attacks of her long-time roommate, Jerry. Right up front Roz Morris plants seeds of something being a bit off balance, then skillfully nurtures those seeds until everything is entangled in tree limbs clawing at the window and submerged under water. It's impossible to tell which way is up and in which direction to turn for rescue.
Getting to this point in the story is a journey of musical masterpieces played out in words on the instrument of our sensibilities. The reader believes, believes deeply, there is something to the mysticism of past life regression, something astonishing in Carol's progression into a future life. The journey is surreal, yet the reader is brought in by Morris to that matrix where belief and doubt double over each other and entangle the reader in their lines. The story lines. The plot is musical in its pacing, yet structured to suit the cinematic expectations of the modern mind. The ending was a complete surprise but inevitable. Everything is working here.
In a television interview, T.C. Boyle was asked what his novels meant. He shrugged and said, "I just write the books. What they mean is left for the reader's exploration." Like others who have reviewed this book, I'd like to talk to someone about it. There are so many options for this novel becoming profoundly personal to the individual while still sharing universals of the human condition with others. It's rare finding a book you want to discuss with others, share with others, and dig deeper into with others. This book does the trick. I want company on this adventure, kindred souls to march in the illusion of St. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
I honestly didn't expect to like this novel. I'm fried to a crisp on the paranormal, but this book is different. Amazingly different. As the pages turned, I was turned inside out for my own examination. I really do have to think about this more. I "get" the novel, I've been impacted by layers of possibilities, but it still feels as if there's something more I'll understand about myself, about you, about my lonely neighbor, as the book continues to trickle down the sand dunes of my awareness.
This is one heck of a bold and brave novel, written by a skilled artist. This is a teacher who not only practices what she preaches, but exceeds those teachings on all levels.