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A Novel of Reincarnation by Samyann

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A Novel of Reincarnation, a historical fictional romance novel by Samyann, is a story of self-discovery and deliverance from doubt and fear. We follow the main character Amanda Parker who, by a chance encounter, meets and saves the life of a Chicago Mounted police officer, Mark Callahan. She knows she has met him before but she wonders how and when. Coincidentally, Mark feels the same way and knows in his heart that Amanda is his soulmate.

In order to find out where and how Amanda knew Mark, we are taken on a journey, generations back, by a process of directed regressions into the past, psychiatric journeys into her subconscious that take us to the time of the American Civil War where she is a child, Bonnie, fleeing the war-torn South with her father and cousin. We also experience with Bonnie, The Great Chicago Fire of 1871. We live through the loss of several family members and dear friends in Amanda’s previous life as Bonnie, tragedies that subconsciously affect her ability to love, for fear of losing loved ones again.

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Time is a very strong concept throughout the novel. Whether it is a wristwatch, church and clock bells chiming the hours or years written on the doors of the hallway in her mind, the concept of time is ever-present. This is most evident with the presence of the arresting grandfather clock that has survived through time to tie the story together.

Before I read this book, I was skeptical about reincarnation and previous lives, but reincarnation turned out to be the most intriguing part of the story. What I like the most is the way reincarnation is presented so convincingly, actually making me wonder if a session of regression with a psychiatrist will reveal who I was in a past life. I enjoyed the ease with which I could navigate between the stories of Bonnie and Amanda as the dates and places were very clearly stated by the author at each turn. I enjoyed reading about the supporting characters; the feisty godmother-psychiatrist Mary, the loving and motherly self-sacrificing Magdalene, and the cat Oprah with her possible ancestor, Electra.

While not wanting to provide too much information on outcomes, I would like to state that I was disappointed at the choice of Rose, Bonnie’s adopted daughter, as the inheritor of Bonnie’s sapphire locket and not her own blood daughter. The sudden death of Bonnie’s father from an accident, and who had successfully fought off a marauding soldier a few pages before, was also a let down for me. I would have liked him to have had a more heroic death. This particular death added to the tragedy factor and intensified the sense of loss that permeates the novel.

The novel will appeal to anyone who believes in true love and the existence of soulmates. A reader who is offended by thoughts of previous lives and reincarnation will not be offended by this tale as it does not preach or seek to convert. The story kept me engaged and gave a great insight into 19th century America and how normal humans can turn desperate and evil in the face of war, tragedy, and calamity. I give the story a rating of 4 out of 4 stars as the language is true to the context and to the time, with a high rating for use of well-researched vocabulary.

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