4 out of 4 stars
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“You are not alone.” Mary is married to a wealthy man and has two children who adore her. They live in a large house by the ocean in tropical Florida and yet, she feels unfulfilled and alone. She goes through the motions of living what appears to be a perfect life, but there is just something missing. An avid writer, she finds solace and comfort in the privacy of her journal and the majestic allure of nature. Through her writing, she finds an outlet for her pent-up feelings of frustration and isolation. When surrounded by nature, she feels a compelling and powerful connection. What secrets lie unraveled in her heart? Will her duty to her husband drown out the spirit in her soul?
Between Worlds, by Anna Vong, is the story of one woman’s quest for self-actualization. Through the protagonist, readers are beckoned to love what she loves, resent what provokes her, and appreciate the magnificence of the natural world.
The best part of this book is the emotional connection I felt to the characters, and there is an ordinariness about this that makes the story so realistic. The less-than-spectacular proposal just cracked me up! Simple phrases here and there, as well as things that are not said, were cleverly used by this author to make the characters very relatable. After one careless act from a teacher, a young girl doesn’t want to write anymore. A parent watches her child, in his innocence, feel the burden of his parents’ decisions.
I also enjoyed the powerful descriptions of the setting and experiencing the transformative power of nature through the plot. Throughout the chapters, this underlying theme accentuates the storyline and adds depth to the narration. Scenes seem to pause for paragraphs as imagery is employed to satisfy the senses and give a complete description of both the setting, the tone, and the characters’ emotions. There seems to be a parallelism between the forces of nature and the protagonist. “Miles of uninterrupted sand honored its vows of solitude” and other such phrases show the author’s brilliant use of imagery.
There is nothing I disliked about this book. It is professionally edited, which is especially important in a book like this because the absence of mechanical flaws frees the reader to truly enjoy the symbolism and imagery. For the reasons stated above, I give Between Worlds a well-deserved 4 out of 4 stars.
I recommend Between Worlds to readers who are looking to connect with realistic and believable characters. If you’re looking for a straightforward and fast-paced action novel, this is not the book for you. Those who have an appreciation and respect for the power and grandeur of nature will also enjoy the descriptions. There are brief sexual scenes, so it may not be appropriate for younger readers. Overall, I enjoyed taking my time with this book. I just may look at the ocean and trees in the forests differently and a little more closely now.
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