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MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers

Between Two Gates:

A Young Man's Quest Toward Birth



Between Two Gates is a novel of visionary fiction that opens with a death. This might seem an unlikely starting point for a novel, but this story represents a new beginning as the thirty-two-year-old protagonist's life stops from drug abuse and then experiences a transformation in the afterlife.

Samuel's spirit is welcomed by his grandfather, and the two embark on a quest that embraces Samuel's transitioning "...from your life on the Earth to the next stage of your existence."

The structure of the plot takes the form of a three-act production (sans the usual drama screenplay of character calls and responses). It features a wide-ranging spiritual flow, from Samuel's calling to traverse Gehenna's five realms to his confrontation with disparate forms of heaven, hell, and purgatory.

His wise grandfather calls his current abode a "...good place. A natural place where we continue to exist until that time when we’re called upon to make our return.”

Samuel's task is to embrace his destiny, rescue his great-great-grandfather from dangerous entity Solomon, and confront his own karmic heritage while fielding angels and fairies alike.

The spiritual and ethereal nature of this metaphysical work requires of its readers a mind open to non-traditional concepts of the afterlife. Those harboring such inclinations will find Between Two Gates a wide-ranging, mind-hopping journey that offers tantalizing insights into destiny and life purpose:

“You keep trying to lure me. But you should know I am not the same naive soul I was when I arrived. I’ve learned much already, and you should know this: I want nothing to do with you or your kind.”

Solomon laughed. “You think you’ve changed; that’s nonsense. We’ve known each other from previous lifetimes, and we’re destined for more. You have no power to break this karmic cycle.”

Readers who also harbor affection for philosophical reflection receive this in droves as Samuel confronts others and self in an afterlife journey that cements his karma and the impact of "doomed desires" that affect and direct his world.

The result is a powerful novel of realization, redemption, and afterlife conundrums that is especially recommended for audiences interested in considering the lasting impact of their choices and the power of love. Samuel's heroic and epic struggles play out on an afterlife stage replete with thought-provoking insights that will prove as suitable for book club and spirituality group debates as for individual contemplation.

Libraries and readers seeking a visionary story that juxtaposes adventures with afterlife considerations will find Between Two Gates compelling and hard to put down.


~ Diane Donovan

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