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Sunday, June 9, 2013

IN THE BETWEEN by May Sinclair, PhD REVIEW

Title: In the Between

Author: May Sinclair, PhD
Release date: Feb. 13, 2013
Rating: 4.5/5
Publisher: Createspace
Book Summary:

In the Between is a metaphysical fantasy about a woman who dies and travels through the Bardo. The book opens with an explanation of the term: she is going from one life to the next. The Bardo comes from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, loosely translated as: The In Between. And according to that book, souls travel through it for 49 days, during which time they are encouraged to accept any one of numerous heavens being offered.  
There are 49 chapters in the book because according to the Tibetan Book of the Dead souls travel for seven weeks through the in between. 
Well, unless there is some karma left over from another past life. But our soul, in the story, is not Buddhist, she is from the West. And being the kind of woman she has become through all the countless lives—she believes she has lived—she developed her own ideas about living and what happens at death.   
Based on her ideas she has about the Bardo she gets to re-live some of her past lives to help with the evolution of her soul. But, before any of that happens—right from the start—when she first arrives at the Bardo, she is surprised to discover something odd about her soul that is confusing. She learns there are two parts to her soul—the animal and the spiritual. The two aspects disagree about what the soul is supposed to accomplish and the book spells out the differences through lively dialogue between them.

After coming to some harmony, our soul agrees to re-live her past lives that took place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Jerusalem, Istanbul, Spain, Brussels, France, England, the U.S., and India. After each experience the two aspects of our soul review what happened—why she made choices causing karma that must be balanced in her future—and the two parts of our soul begin to grow together.

She learns everything is much more complicated than she ever thought, including all of her relationships whether they seemed, good or not so good. She also finds out how it is that thinking people develop their personal ideas about God, the universe, energy, but most importantly why souls are on planet earth—at all.

 The book allows for all of us to ask ourselves: What if it is true? What if we don’t go to Heaven…or Hell when we die? What if karma does exist? What if we do reincarnate into another life to try to learn about our past mistakes and get to balance out misdeeds?

Review:

When May Sinclair e-mailed me to read this book, I was extremely excited. This is the first time that I have ever seen an author tackle a book about reincarnation. Reincarnation has always fascinated me, so it was an automatic yes when I saw what this book was about.

It's not very often that the first few pages of a book are the main character's death (The Lovely Bones is one of these, I think), so it reeled me in right from the get go.

Sinclair's dialogue and description really stood out from me as I turned the pages. They were vivid and detailed, yet they remained simple and not overbearing.

Starry, our main character's soul self, leads her through her past lives in all sorts of times and places and teaches her lessons that will later be imprinted on her soul and taken to the next life. Starry was probably my favorite character in the whole book, because she was lively and her emotions changed dramatically.

However, it was difficult to differentiate which "I" or "me" belonged to our main character's animal self, or to the current self she is replaying in the reliving of the life. While I was reading, it did get rather confusing as to who did what during the life. Another thing I noticed was the typo regarding either a word that wasn't supposed to be in italics (I think I only saw this once) or the quotations around dialogue were forgotten, or doubled, or misplaced. It's not so much of a problem, though I did notice them.

Sinclair, how long did it take you to research for your novel? Everything was so accurate down to the drinks and the dances and everything! It was a wonderful reading experience.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to read something different and out of the ordinary for once!
  M.A.Chase

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