Book Review: The Seven-Day Resurrection

A delicate narrative of a mother-son, built on themes of nostalgia and hope, with a clever and mysterious back-from-the-dead central plot.

Book cover

Book: The Seven-Day Resurrection

Author: Chevron Ross

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary

Review Copy: Reedsy Discovery

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Loved It

“Death was so arbitrary. … Sometimes death was sneaky.” What if resurrection occurs? Len grapples with this question in the fascinating novel, The Seven-Day Resurrection. Writer Chevron Ross builds on an interesting premise and entangles the reader in a series of questions from the start. What can explain the presence of Len’s mother in his house after her death? Is it imagination, an anomaly, a cosmic glitch, a psychiatric or physiological disorder, or senility?

Ross has entwined several themes in his book. Delicate nuances of the co-dependent relationship between a 70-year-old man and his 90-year-old mother are central. In crisscrossing timelines, the characters experience different time-lapses in the future and the past. Then, there are stories around the myriad characters – Olivia, the caretaker, Miranda, Len’s boss, Len’s siblings, Len’s teenage angst, aspirations as a writer, life as a loner, and insurance claims handler.

My favorite overarching theme is the nostalgia of the Depression-era and the World War. Ross brings out the imprints of the war on the life of simple people. He tells how the years of want and struggle made the people bitter, frugal, and eventually hoarders, of both things and memories. The conversations between Len and his mother make up a major part of the narrative. Another part is Len’s confusion about the happenings around him and recollections of his life.

An interesting writing technique is using snippets from Len’s writing drafts in the novel. When the first draft of The Farm Tree appears in the book, it is almost confusing. I paused to grasp how the dominant story and this narrative were connected. At a point, it seemed there were too many characters to track. However, I saw the connection. The strong, caring father figure of The Farm Tree and the incidents around bullying were easy to identify. They are reflections of Len’s yearnings since his teenage.

This book is well-researched and has impeccable writing. It is not a zippy read. It requires time and attention. This should in no way discourage a reader because the book does not weigh you down. It carefully builds on the characters, making them endearing and relatable. The writer sketches portraits of a world that is now a fast-disappearing memory, while also keeping it contemporary by referencing the pandemic. The mystery of the resurrection keeps you engaged till the end.

Book Review: Solomon’s Porch

An endearing tale spanning generations and locations, where characters are driven by destiny to embrace life lessons

Book cover

Book: Solomon’s Porch

Author: Janet Morris Grimes

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary

Review Copy: Reedsy Discovery

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Loved It

The simplest stories are the most endearing. Janet Morris Grimes is evidently a keen observer of various facets of human life. She picks up delicate stories and weaves them into a tender novel. Grimes dedicates time to each of her characters, carefully building them up. The fumbling old man, the troubled family man, the separated priest, and the single mother are navigating the highs and lows in relatable ways. These are stories of people like us, everyday stories, yet narrated with deep care.

With undertones of books such as Tuesdays with Morrie, the storyline is touching but not overwhelming. It draws us in and has us rooting for the characters. We know how the storyline will proceed; we are aware of how the writer intends to tie it up, yet we remain invested. This is a story of reminiscence, of the past and the present, and about destinies. We want to follow the characters till the end. Are there lessons; is there redemption; is there release? For each, this is a journey of discovery.

The tone is positive, even though the story is poignant. The characters have moments of panic, despair, loss, confusion, remembrance, and weariness. However, they are all moving on, each day towards resolving what holds them back in the myriad plays of their different lives. The writing is taut and well-edited. Solomon’s Porch is an enjoyable book to read and share. The title sounds inspired by the biblical reference to Solomon’s Porch. The book carries a spiritual message and is written with love and compassion. It has the potential of being made into an equally endearing movie script.

Book Review: The ABC of Paradise Found

Book: The ABC of Paradise Found

Author: Karen Amanda Toulon and Eric Rhinehart 

Genre: Culture and Ethnic, Art

Review Copy: Reedsy Discovery

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Must Read

The ABCs of Paradise Found is a mesmerizing work of creativity and art that deserves to be on the bookshelf of every connoisseur of all things fascinating. An award-winning journalist, Karen Toulon, and her partner, artist Eric Rhinehart, collaborate on an exquisite collection of words and watercolors. They delicately tiptoe around each other in a waltz of absolute delight, the colors, and brushstrokes in complete harmony with the theme and words. The narration, in its simplicity, tugs warmly at the strings of your heart. The paintings, in their sheer brilliance, pull you into a meditative state of blissful appreciation.

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Book Review: The Fabric Over The Moon

Book: The Fabric Over The Moon

Author: Ferran Plana

Genre: Fiction, Short Stories

Review Copy: Reedsy Discovery

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Must Read

Does a mysterious place with strange customs lift the weight of life and its worries off your shoulders? Do questions of the past become heavier with time? Do dreams spill over into the waking world? Are imaginary creatures more than real? Read a delightful collection by writer Ferran Plana that covers mystical and magical happenings in the lives of common people and uncommon creatures. 

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Book Review: The New Face of Grief

Book: The New Face of Grief

Author: Katie Rössler

Genre: Contemporary, Self-Help, Non-fiction

Review Copy: Reedsy Discovery

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Must Read!

The New Face of Grief is a relevant book because grief is omnipresent in human life. Through the global pandemic, grief is a prevailing emotion. This work aims to help us not to make grief omnipotent in our life.

The author, Katie Rössler, highlights important concepts that we relegate to the background. Grief is not always about death, illness, and separation. Grief abounds in more sub-categories than we realize and accept. For example, a change of location, getting married, or changing jobs may cause grief and it is not just a passing emotion. At the onset, she sets the pace, “The reality, dear reader, is that the journey of grief cannot be rushed.”

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