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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
I tend to be a fast reader, but I forced myself to slow down and savor this one.
We meet Lia as an emotionally bereft woman, still reeling from her beloved husband’s tragic death 18 months earlier. The impact her grief has had on her career has only makes matters worse. She’s been denied tenure and has been unable to complete her dissertation on Cathar history and religious beliefs. She comes to Languedoc to try to heal, in the kind of perfect guest house we ALL wish we had available for as long as she needs it, so she can regroup. Almost immediately, Lia is swept into a story that transcends time, stirs mysteries of a centuries-old assassination, political machinations, and promises a chance at love.
The writer takes us on a journey that starts in 1208 and ends in the present day. Ms. Johnson tells the tale so deftly, and with such a sure command of her narrative that this reader simply felt pulled along in the currents of time and place that she crafted. It’s obvious from the language that the writer knows and deeply loves the Languedoc region. That love is writ large in her elegant and evocative descriptions of place.
On reflection, was left thinking that Lia could be just a touch rounder; her struggles to let herself love again are some of the best character exploration in the book. Moments that we see her friendship with Rose are bright points that could have been exploited a tiny bit more. I found, too, that I wanted to see Father Bonafe more overtly torn, or Lia less accepting of the priest at face value. But these minor issues in no way dilute the pure enjoyment of reading this book.
There are rich descriptions of landscape and the physical places in story. And as I read, I wished for a map. There is a map! Unfortunately, I missed it, but will now go back and check the map to answer some of the questions I had about where parts of the story occurred. Paperback buyers who get the Kindle preview be wary -- the map is probably in pages that are skipped when the Kindle file is opened. I think that's how I missed it.
This writer is one to watch. I thoroughly enjoyed In Another Life and look forward to reading Ms. Johnson’s future books.
I can only find fault in the author's occasionally superfluous descriptions of wardrobe, foods, domestic details and such, but then again, without all this gorgeously rendered detail, my immersion in the book might not have been as complete.
Lia, Raoul, Lucas, Jordi, and Paloma are captivating characters. I was haunted by these lost souls searching for footholds in time and history, and appreciated JCJ's restraint with the supernatural elements. Definitely one of those novels that have you imagining the movie adaptation. Reader: dream-cast away!
I can’t wait to read Julie’s next book.
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