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To and Fro Upon the Earth: A Novel Paperback – July 19, 2017
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In this novel, McDowell expertly drills deep into the core of humanity and exposes a raw nerve--a painful discovery, but not without purpose. He creatively challenges his protagonist, Jay (and the reader!), to keep moving forward and embracing his life amidst the chaos of "thick darkness." Can Jay piece his life back together? This novel addresses a question we all face at some point in our life: is there any beauty to be found in a dark place?
On a personal note, I was impacted by Jay Adam's journey, and relate to his "thick darkness," having sustained a serious concussion that literally put me into a dark place. I, too, have struggled to make sense of suffering, which has now propelled me into a present journey of grieving the losses. To and Fro Upon the Earth could not have come at a better time in my life.
--Linda Marie Zupancic
Writer & Editor
This novel shocked me. I believe I have a good sense for a book will contain, but nothing about this story was as it seemed or predictable. I had an ongoing theory throughout the entire book, that, at the end, Jay would wake up and realize everything that had happened to him had been a nightmare. When we look at ours lives, we don't think about what could go wrong; we imagine the endless possibilities. McDowell takes those perceived notions and shatters them. I believe that this novel is a wake-up call to society's view of order and stability.
Norman Park, Georgia
I love the use of flashbacks and dream sequences to explore Jay's struggle and his issues of meaning and purpose. It was like an unfoldingA mystery, with a revelatory ending!
A great read! From the first page, I found myself fascinated with Jay's journey in both the past and present, and what he would find. His dreams (nightmares!) are enthralling.
About the Author
Markus McDowell is an author and editor. He has a PhD and a law degree, and serves as an editor for journals and publishers in the US and the UK. He writes nonfiction books about religion, spirituality, and legal education.
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Every person, every where, knows that there are two things in life that are completely unavoidable: you pay taxes and you die. Now, one does not normally associate great work ethic and a positive outlook on life with tragedy; however, Jay Adams, also never thought that his life would have become the example by which those words were made true. Time, space, faith, fate, no matter what you personally want to call it, has a way of catching up with all of us in one way or another. The truth is simple, no matter what Jay’s mind tried to tell him as he pieced together this sordid puzzle, bad things just happen to good people sometimes. Nothing is promised, not today and certainly not tomorrow, all anyone can do is place one foot in front of the other and try to move on with life as best as possible.
I do not think this novel is for everyone though, because I fear that simple minds will not comprehend the jumps between reality and the tricks that one’s mind can play. This story was very well written and is not for the shallow or faint at heart. Truth, plain and simple, is not for everyone to bare, simply because not everyone can handle it; however, for those that can, I know that they will find some satisfaction in the space of learning about one man’s journey to figure out his place in a fallen world. I, honestly, pity those that cannot find meaning behind this work, for those might just be blind to the very world around them.
I cant say I understyood the ending compeltely, uet it gave me a sense of peace, even though I am not sure why. Also, the book jumps back and forth betwen the past and the present and dreams (I think they are dreams, which I found confusing at first, though not enbough for me to give up, becuase it made me want to KNOW what was going on. I'm looking forward to more novels by McDowell.