Sunday, 20 March 2016

Book Review: Echoes of Paradise by Deanna Kahler

Echoes of ParadiseEchoes of Paradise by Deanna Kahler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Echoes of Paradise by Deanna Kahler is one of those books which remind the reader of the loss of their loved ones. Celeste meets Connor on a blind date set by her friend Sue. Celeste has come out of a very abusive relationship with Sue's cousin Andy and is not interested in dating for a while. After being persuaded by Sue for a significant amount of time, Celeste gives in and agrees to meet Connor. To her surprise, she feels an instant connection with Connor and is highly impressed by him. They begin seeing each other very often; however, Connor loves his freedom and wishes to travel the world. Celeste, on the other hand, has other plans for her future. Thus, they go their separate ways. Connor goes on to live in Rome, whereas Celeste marries Dave. Their love, however, does not die. Soon after marrying Dave, Celeste gives birth to a baby boy, Chip. In Chip, she finds her lost life and showers him with affection and care. Dave is an ambitious man, and he treasures his role as a provider to his family. He spends most of the time in his office while his wife, Celeste, craves for a companion. These differences lead them to the road of separation. Therefore, when she receives a message from Connor that he is coming back and wishes to meet her, she is ecstatic. But as luck would have it, Connor's plane crashes and he dies. Celeste's world comes crashing down, and she spends her each waking moment in mourning for her lost love. Little does she know that Connor is trying to connect with her from another realm. She notices signs everywhere but overrules these as her imagination. But when she receives a pink rose from Connor, her world is turned upside down.

As a reader, I found it easy to connect with the characters. Dave's jealousy with his wife's relationship with Connor, even after his death, is very realistic. Their marital problems are not out-of-the-world and, in fact, we are surrounded by a number of such couples, and this is another factor that adds to the practical approach that the author has taken. Deanna has poured all the emotions to express the pain that Celeste felt on losing the person whom she considered being her real love. The author has done a flawless job in bringing a life to all her characters. I believed the presence of these characters around me, rather than just in the book.

The story that the author has picked up is positively practical, and most of us are -- at present -- living it. And this is what has added to the believability of the plot. We have all heard about the signs that the dead ones send to their relatives, which some of us swear to have experienced ourselves, whereas the other skeptical set of people refuse to accept. What's true and what's not, is beyond the scope of my ability, let alone this review; however, the author's narration is quite entertaining and thought-provoking. I found myself pondering over the life after death while reading this book.

It was fascinating to read Deanna's perspective of an afterlife. Her vision of heaven is very refreshing; however when she went on to write about the activities that Connor could do in heaven seemed a little bizarre to me. When Connor goes on a fishing trip or when he skates in heaven, that's where the author lost me. Of course, an opinion on the afterlife is subjective and may differ from one person to another. For me, though, this view did not work.

I would rate Echoes of Paradise 4 out of 5 stars. I found the characters, their emotions, and the overall plot considerably easy to connect. The only problem I had was in believing that Connor was skating, fishing, and what not in heaven. This strange depiction was somewhat distracting for me. I would recommend this book to the readers who enjoy taking a walk down the memory lane, exploring intense emotions, and imagining what the life could be post death.

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