This is without a doubt one of the most engaging love stories I’ve ever read, as much for the quality of the writing as for the novelty of the subject matter. As to what kind of love story it is exactly, films like Lake House with Keanu Reeves, and The Time Traveler’s Wife come to mind. As with those titles, there are strong paranormal elements, which permeate Kendra’s Spirit, along with that impossible separation between lovers across time. Though in this case, the beloved is a spirit and the hero is an astral traveler, someone who can go into a meditative state, and leave his physical form in order to join her in some very engaging out of body experiences. By now, I would hope, you’re getting a feel for just how spectacularly unique and endearing the subject matter is.
Kendra, a TV news reporter, stationed to Iraq, is nearly killed by a suicide bomber. For all practical purposes, she is dead. She lies in a coma, kept alive entirely by life-support machines, with no indication of brain activity whatsoever. That leaves our hero with one option: get very creative if he wants his relationship and his love to endure despite the one obstacle that would get even the most diehard of romantics to throw in the towel.
But how long can he expect to hold on to a spirit that’s in limbo, really? Long enough for both parties to heal from the trauma of their sudden separation from one another? Or will one or both of them just never be able to entirely let go?
The spiritual and metaphysical components of the book are never off-putting, to my mind, whatever the reader’s religious beliefs, or if they’re like me and would classify themselves as more spiritual than religious per se. Quite the contrary, I found the author’s informed (and clearly researched) discussion of near death experiences to be one of the elements which lent tremendous color and definition to his already poignant drama. His background as an investigative journalist also lends depth to the writing with the very authentic depictions of life in Iraq during wartime, for locals as well as foreigners.
Because of the polishing applied to the copy-editing, the novel’s a brisk read, with no clumsy sentences to trip over. And despite all the deep thinking and intense emotions captured between the edges of the book, it doesn’t require an altered state on the part of the reader to sustain the requisite heightened concentration. Though arguably, such a state is fostered by the writer by the absorbing nature of his writing. So if you don’t have a lot of time and energy to do anything but light reading, but would still like a deep rewarding experience for your trouble, this is the book.