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Motherless Soul Paperback – September 23, 2009
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A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
About the Author
Steve Lindahl has published short fiction in Space and Time, The Alaska Quarterly, The Wisconsin Review, Eclipse, Ellipsis and Red Wheelbarrow. He served for five years as an associate editor on the staff of The Crescent Review, a literary magazine he co-founded. His Theater Arts background has helped nurture a love for intricate characters in complex situations that is evident in his writing. Steve and his wife Toni live and work together outside of Greensboro, North Carolina. They have two adult children: Nicole and Erik. Motherless Soul is Steve Lindahl's debut novel.
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Top customer reviews
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Steve Lindahl takes the reader on a fascinating and mystical exploration not only into Emily's past with her mother, but other past lives she led as far back as the 19th century. Motherless Soul keeps the readers interest as the plot has twists and turns and interesting characters along the way.
A good read that leaves you wondering about the many levels of time, especially the possibility of the time's circularity. Dennis McKay author of Fallow's Field and Once Upon Wisconsin.
Emily never truly knew her mother. She died with Emily was only 2 years old, and now that Emily is in her eighties, she is desperate to know something- anything- about her mother. The death of her mother has affected her life in every imaginable way- her father was distant, she never had friends, and she never had any relationships. As she nears the end of her life, Emily decides to contact a prominent hypnotist named Glen Wiley who regresses Emily and gives her the opportunity to experience her early memories of her mother, but they also discover something significant while regressing her to a previous life.
In her past life regression, they discover that Emily's mother has died early on in her life in previous lives as well. Glen says explains to Emily that major events, such as tragedies, are destined to repeat themselves. Emily's soul, as well as those involved in the death of her mother, is caught in a loop. As long as the loop remains unbroken, those souls shall remain trapped in the loop lifetime after lifetime. For this reason, Emily and Glen set out to determine the individuals that possess the souls of Emily's mother, father, and anyone else involved in her mother's death. Throughout the book, the reader follows the process of finding these people, regressing them, and then developing a plan to break the cycle.
This book was a bit slow to start, and seemed almost anticlimactic in the end, considering how much time was spent building up to the event. One could even say that it was a tad predictable. Regardless, I enjoyed the book very much! The ending did manage to throw me for a loop, since there was a constant shift in who was doing what (and to whom), right up to the end. I thought the premise upon which it is written is very cool as well! The idea that a person can change their future by looking into their past to determine causative factors is one thing, but delving into past lives for those answers is another thing entirely.
The reading was not difficult, and I liked how the story switched narrators so you knew what everyone was thinking and doing throughout the book. The storyline set in the present was interesting because you slowly discover this small network of people who are more connected than they had originally believed. After a bit of convincing, they come together to solve the riddle of what is happening and how they can prevent it from reoccurring. Meanwhile, the reader follows each character into their regressions, which provide fascinating first hand accounts of historical events. The mixture of narrators and periodic switching between timelines creates a story that keeps you hooked.
I think the one thing that is really going to affect book sales for this author is the cover. If I had seen this book in the bookstore, I'd have simply walked past it because the cover does nothing to catch my attention. Even if it did manage to catch my eye, I'd probably have thought something along the lines of, "I know 12 year olds who can Photoshop together a better cover than that!" The primary colors on the cover are grey and green, and the font is a bright blue that is almost lost in the background. I polled some friends and the general opinion is that the cover is a deterrent.
Overall, I think readers will enjoy this book. It has mystery, suspense, and a touch of romance. Lindahl does a great job of developing all of the characters, and they provide a colorful cast for the story. If you are interested in reincarnation, or just like stories with a touch of the mystical, give this one a read!
Lindahl has undertaken a difficult task and done it well and professionally, holding the reader's attention throughout the book. He is able to identify human tendencies and behavior that readers can understand and note as universal, so that the reactions of the characters to various incidents in their lives are clearly natural and true to a common human nature.
This book affords a good read and leaves the reader with a clearer understanding of human emotions, the concept of past life regressions, and the necessary spirit of renewal and new strength that results for these characters.
Lindahl introduces new and interesting characters who come alive as each takes their place on the couch to be taken back in time to heal a continuing negative cycle in all of their lives. In each lifetime there is a child left motherless because of the mother's murder. There are also a lover and the murderer. Each of these characters' souls has a part to play throughout time and history, over and over as the pattern is repeated.
Lindahl creates a world that is understandable and believable. He manages to go back and forth in time, yet not confuse the reader with the many changes taking place in the different characters' lives. There is a slant towards Christianity, but it isn't in contradiction with reincarnation. He manages to merge the two flawlessly and without apology.
The concurrent storylines are fascinating and well worth reading. I give this book five out of five stars.
Julie Achterhoff, author of Quantum Earth and Deadly Lucidity