A paranormal tale that traces the paths of four individuals wrestling with anxiety.
Spiritual counselor and debut novelist Lohret inquires into the nature of our existence in a work with three parts whose titles—“Asleep,” “Remember” and “Awake”—seemingly reflect the characters’ psyches. In Part I, it appears that the well-drawn, flawed yet likable main characters may become romantically intertwined. They’re each haunted by fears: Twenty-nine-year-old Jake, a successful Manhattan real estate developer, has recurrent nightmares about the city and visions of a beautiful woman; divorced single-mother Liz tries to comprehend the significance of her 5-year-old daughter’s imaginary adult playmate; Army veteran David struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder; and writer Maré is at work penning a short story while grappling with memories of an unhappy childhood and finding a way out of an abusive relationship. Instead of eventually meeting up at a singles’ bar, however, the characters cross paths through the mediation of their spiritual alter egos, who are introduced in Part II following a vast geologic upheaval on Earth evidently caused by fracking. Jacob, Lizalia, Daveed and Maree—the characters’ counterparts—inhabit Gaia, a planet more advanced than Earth. When scientists of Gaia become concerned that Earth is at a breaking point due to its inhabitants’ lack of concern for their planet and for each other, Gaia emissaries are sent to Earth to try to help. In Part III, the original characters survive a massive earthquake, apparently aided by their spiritual counterparts—or have they always been one and the same? For instance, Jake and Maré, who had “been finding each other in their dreams for years,” are now a couple. Although Lohret carefully constructs the characters and their environments in Part I, the ensuing parts are far shorter and less developed, requiring more patience and effort from readers looking to understand the story.
An ambitious, well-written novel that delivers a message of hope tucked between elements of romance, mystery and sci-fi.