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In Another Life Paperback – February 2, 2016
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"Debut author Johnson handles what could be an overwhelming amount of historical details with skill, presenting a fascinating mystery grounded in historical fact. Her lyrical, sensuous style is beguiling in its own singularly seductive way. Readers can practically taste the ever-present wine and feel the winter wind. Lia is a dream of a narrator, one whom readers will root for. VERDICT: A perfect match for readers who enjoy Kate Mosse's "Languedoc Trilogy" and fans of female-driven romantic historical works such as Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series." -- Library Journal STARRED REVIEW
"In Another Life grabs you from page one and doesn't let go. The prose is rich and evocative, transporting the reader to rural France with an ease unusual for a debut author. The story is intriguing, weaving past and present in an ever-tightening braid that eventually dissolves the separation altogether, adeptly illustrating how the Cathars' belief in reincarnation might play out in the real world. Lia is especially well-portrayed as the unwitting catalyst uniting two deaths, three men, and 800 years of history, while the male characters are slowly revealed as we learn their unlikely pasts and how they affect the present. Very highly recommended." Nicole Evelina, Historical Novels Review
"A compelling tale of forgiveness and redemption, weaving together "then" and "now," and revealing the steadfast power of love. This book makes the tragic story of the Cathars accessible to the general reader. It situates their story in the development of France as a nation and sheds light on the Catholic Church as a power broker. First-time novelist Julie Christine Johnson's In Another Life offers a tale that spans time, bringing the 13th century and contemporary Languedoc and Paris to vibrant life. Populated by characters grappling with common human challenges, this novel is amplified by a framework beyond time."
"Johnson is clearly striding in the footsteps of authors like Geraldine Brooks and Diana Gabaldon in her juxtaposition of the modern and historical ... a strong debut." New York Journal of Books
"Johnson's heartbroken researcher wends through the lush landscape and historical religious intrigue of southern France seeking the distraction of arcane fact-but instead, like the reader, is transformed by the moving echo of emotional truth. An imaginative, unforgettable tale." - Kathryn Craft, author of The Art of Falling and The Far End of Happy
"The dark days of 13th century Cathar persecution in France reach out long fingers to intrigue and bewitch in Julie Christine Johnson's immersive depiction of past and present in this atmospheric novel of love, loss and reincarnation." Tessa Arlen author of the Lady Montfort mystery series." - Tessa Arlen, author of the Lady Montfort mystery series
"Delicate and haunting, romantic and mystical, In Another Life is a novel with an extraordinary sense of place. Fans swept away by Diana Gabaldon's 18th-century Scotland will want to explore Julie Christine Johnson's 13th-century Languedoc." - Greer Macallister, author of The Magician's Lie
"In this lovely novel, Johnson shows us the redemptive power of love and second chances through the ages. Evocative of Outlander, In Another Life is a thrilling combination of romance, adventure, and history." - Margaret Dilloway, author of Sisters of Heart and Snow and How to Be an American Housewife
"Debut author Johnson handles what could be an overwhelming amount of historical details with skill, presenting a fascinating mystery grounded in historical fact. Her lyrical, sensuous style is beguiling in its own singularly seductive way. Readers can practically taste the ever-present wine and feel the winter wind. Lia is a dream of a narrator, one whom readers will root for. A perfect match for readers who enjoy Kate Mosse's "Languedoc Trilogy" and fans of female-driven romantic historical works such as Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series.
" - Library Journal
"Johnson's novel is beautifully written. It centers around Lia and her return to France, moving seamlessly between present and past, blending mystery, romance and rich history together. Johnson brings the 800-year-old Cathar religious persecution to life with vibrant characters who appear to be reincarnated in the men surrounding Lia in the present day." - RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
"In Another Life grabs you from page one and doesn't let go. The prose is rich and evocative, transporting the reader to rural France with an ease unusual for a debut author. Very highly recommended." - Historical Novels Review, Editor's Choice
"what makes "In Another Life" work is the strong emotional core, the sense of place, the historical suspense and the characterization that makes the reader root for Lia" - Seattle Times
From the Back Cover
She has fallen for a man who shouldn't exist.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Cathars believed in reincarnation for souls that were killed without a chance at redemption. Lia is forced to confront this belief as events unfold and she becomes the instrument for atonement of these lost souls. This is a finely written book, truly descriptive of the beauty of the Languedoc region. I've been to some of the locations in the book and the author absolutely nails the mystical allure of the ruins, countryside, and towns. The story moves along at a good pace, and the two timelines are skillfully woven in to make a cohesive and interesting story. This is a lovely story with themes I will ponder in days to come. I want to thank Netgalley for letting me read this wonderful book.
Lia is a very sympathetic character. She is in grief. She is trying to cope with her loss and start a new life. When she encounters these men, she finds herself drawn to one of them, Raoul. She relates to him because he has experienced the loss of losing his loved ones too. By trying to solve what really happened in 1208, I felt that it has helped her cope. She is also very smart and curious. She is also very selfless. Lia knows she has to make hard choices, and she makes sacrifices to to help these men. Therefore, Lia is a very relatable character, and I found her to be a strong protagonist.
Overall, this book is about friendship, love, loss, sacrifices, and redemption. This book is about a woman’s quest to heal from the loss of a loved one. The message of the book is that there is always hope. This story alternates between the present and the medieval storylines. I found myself liking the present storyline better because I liked Lia’s character. The story is slow at the beginning, but halfway through it picks up. The story had a mystery, and it was fascinating to find out what had happened. The characters were complex and very human. They all had their flaws, which made them very realistic. I also thought this book to be very well-written, and I liked the descriptions of France. I recommend this book to anyone who not only likes to read about mysteries and time-travel, but also for anyone who is trying to heal after the loss of a loved one.
(Note: This book was given to me as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.)
Lia is a finely-drawn character with roots in Somalia, France, Italy, and the United States. Her heart is drawn most though to the Languedoc region where her closest friend lives and where she lost the love of her life when her bicycle-racing husband, Gabriel, met his death during a race. She returns after a year and a half of floundering to finish her dissertation on the Cathars, an ancient sect that believes in reincarnation for those who die with unsettled souls. She encounters some of these. These encounters eventually lead to a kind of resolution for all of them although for Lia, the resolution is not the one she thought she wanted.
I particularly love that Johnson did not attempt to give us a storybook "happily ever after" ending but one that is happy enough, and deeply satisfying. Her descriptions are rich and yet never too burdensome; she creates mood and setting in a way that makes you feel the story as you read. I was fascinated by many of the historical notes. When I finished the book, I felt I'd been away for a while to a place I'd like to visit in real life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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