Official Review: Designs of Destiny by Carol Purroy

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Miriam Molina
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Official Review: Designs of Destiny by Carol Purroy

Post by Miriam Molina »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Designs of Destiny" by Carol Purroy.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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It is 1990, the time of the Persian Gulf crisis. Thadd Whittaker is 21, a senior at Sonoma State University in California intent on finishing his course in anthropology. After graduation, he plans to join the Air Force so he can fly fighter jets; flying is his passion. Dr. Cheryl Jamison, at 42, is a no-nonsense professor of anthropology at the same school. She has a son of Thadd’s age, has been a widow even before her son Jon was born, and has sworn off romance since her husband Josh died. Josh, an Air Force fighter-jet pilot, was hastily summoned to Vietnam after their wedding; they spent just 24 hours together as man and wife. Four months later, Josh met a fiery death when his plane was downed by a Russian MiG.

By a bizarre twist of fate, Thadd and Cheryl are thrown together in her anthropology class. Used to dating cheerleaders and prom queens, he is flabbergasted to find himself inexplicably drawn to his professor. She, in turn, is magnetized by his eyes; her heart, frozen by a vow to love only Josh for the last 22 years, is defrosted. They are both unable to resist the powerful sexual attraction, and they fall in love. Jon is aghast; his sensible mother is going bonkers!

What supernatural force hovers over these lovers? Will their May-December love endure?

Author Carol Purroy “spent many years as a psychotherapist, utilizing past-life regression as a most efficacious form of therapy.” Her Designs of Destiny contains many references to reincarnation and related phenomena, no doubt taken from her personal experiences. Those who are curious about the afterlife, either in heaven or in another life lived on earth, will find this tale fascinating. Non-believers in life beyond may not like it, though.

In keeping with the main theme of a predestined love affair, the book shows Thadd undergoing hypnotherapy and Cheryl consulting a psychic to explain the mysterious power that draws them to each other. There are other paranormal occurrences, too. Those scenes may be hard to swallow and may need the reader to suspend disbelief.

For a love story which tells about the characters’ unbridled passion for each other, this one is free of explicit sexual content. The use of words like “wanton” and “titillating” to describe the intimate scenes does the trick, and I appreciate that tack. However, there are too many expletives in the book; most of the characters are made to spout them. The author may wish to go easy on the swearing.

While the book is mainly about the intriguing love story, Purroy manages to weave in many other topics of interest. We learn tidbits about the science of anthropology, are introduced to the Pomo tribe in the Rancheria Coastal Reservation, and get to know trivia about the wars in Vietnam and in the Persian Gulf. The author also gives Cheryl and her cohorts the mission to espouse peace and environmental awareness, both worthwhile causes. The variety of subjects tackled is gratifying.

Painting vivid images with her words, the author makes the scenes come alive: the hippies in action, the peaceniks’ marches, the traditions of the Pomo Indians, and the undeniable rush of emotions when falling in love. There is an unexpected twist towards the end; I believe many readers will find it most welcome.

I found the book an enjoyable read, and none of the detours derailed my interest. The author employed an impressive vocabulary, and I noted new words to add to mine. “Ethnography,” “metempsychosis,” and “Daedalian” are but three.

Despite the pleasurable reading experience, I am unable to give the book the perfect rating; the issue of faulty grammar is the main culprit. There are spelling errors, misnamed characters, and wrong punctuation marks. The characters also have a habit of talking to themselves. These musings come in unannounced most times, and the reader has to reread the sentences to get back on track.

Designs of Destiny deserves 3 out of 4 stars for now. The author has to take some remedial measures in the editing department to clinch the fourth star and give the book a brighter destiny.

******
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kandscreeley
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Post by kandscreeley »

Age is definitely not an indicator of romance sometimes. It sounds like Thadd and Cheryl are just meant to be together. I for one am not much into romance, though, and I wouldn't enjoy the hypnotherapy or the psychic sessions. For those reasons, I'll probably skip this. Thanks, though.
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Post by Jessacardinal »

Despite the issues noted near the end of your review, the plot seems to be right up my alley. I will definitely keep this fascinating love story in mind!
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Post by BelleReadsNietzsche »

This romance seems way to “new age” (for lack of a better term) for me. Your review is helpful in discerning whether this one is for me. Thanks!
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Post by Bianka Walter »

Unexplained soliloquies do tend to become somewhat confusing, I must agree.
This book sounds interesting! As always, pity about the grammar.

I loved your review, Miriam :)
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Post by kdstrack »

The backstory of the novel, with the husband dying and the mother left to raise her son, was a beautiful and emotional beginning. The comments about the paranormal and excessive swearing lowered my interest. I think the author has an interesting idea but she lost me with the way she developed it. I appreciate your honest and sensitive review.

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Post by Miriam Molina »

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
04 Feb 2019, 08:32
Age is definitely not an indicator of romance sometimes. It sounds like Thadd and Cheryl are just meant to be together. I for one am not much into romance, though, and I wouldn't enjoy the hypnotherapy or the psychic sessions. For those reasons, I'll probably skip this. Thanks, though.
I understand your reaction. I am Catholic, but I am open to the idea of reincarnation. It seems plausible when pondered in line with purgatory.

Thanks for visiting!

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

Jessacardinal wrote: ↑
04 Feb 2019, 13:09
Despite the issues noted near the end of your review, the plot seems to be right up my alley. I will definitely keep this fascinating love story in mind!
I wish the author can remedy the flaws noted. The characters are endearing, and the story is a feel-good read.

Thanks for dropping by.

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

BelleReadsNietzsche wrote: ↑
04 Feb 2019, 14:12
This romance seems way to “new age” (for lack of a better term) for me. Your review is helpful in discerning whether this one is for me. Thanks!
I hear you. The author is 83 now, so she may find "new age" humorous.

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

Bianka Walter wrote: ↑
04 Feb 2019, 15:30
Unexplained soliloquies do tend to become somewhat confusing, I must agree.
This book sounds interesting! As always, pity about the grammar.

I loved your review, Miriam :)
Thanks, Bianka! You are sweet.

The author has written many books and even coaches younger writers. I hope she doesn't resent my criticism.

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

kdstrack wrote: ↑
04 Feb 2019, 17:01
The backstory of the novel, with the husband dying and the mother left to raise her son, was a beautiful and emotional beginning. The comments about the paranormal and excessive swearing lowered my interest. I think the author has an interesting idea but she lost me with the way she developed it. I appreciate your honest and sensitive review.
"Love is forever" is a romantic notion. Can one person have more than one true love in a lifetime? Does love transcend death? Hopeless romantics will enjoy this book. Those who are more sensible may not. I think I'm a sensible romantic, haha.

I appreciate your comments.

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Post by Godson_96 »

Your review just painted a portrait of ectasy in my mind already.

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

Godson_96 wrote: ↑
05 Feb 2019, 03:54
Your review just painted a portrait of ectasy in my mind already.
I hope you'll get the chance to meet Thadd and Cheryl (and Josh).

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Post by isa3030 »

a fascinating romance,love,and more over life after now account book,written by Coral, Design Destiny a must read for those who explore unknown

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

isa3030 wrote: ↑
05 Feb 2019, 08:47
a fascinating romance,love,and more over life after now account book,written by Coral, Design Destiny a must read for those who explore unknown
Thank you for visiting. Keep safe in this "unknown" time.

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