Saturday, October 29, 2011

Destined by Gail Cleare

Follow Emily's journey to self discovery, community, spirit and love. A contemporary magic-realism romance with engaging multi-cultural characters and lyrical descriptions. IS YOUR LIFE DESTINED? This is the year Emily learns how to deliberately shape the future. She finally gets the courage to walk away from her safe routine and takes a job at the fabulous curio shop owned by Henry Paradis, an occult scholar. Recognizing her psychic talents as the valuable gifts they are, Henry teaches Emily to accept her magical nature and “look forward.” She chooses the path to light and happiness, opening her heart to brave its inevitable obstacles. She finds lifelong friends, falls in love with an incredibly sexy man, learns the power of desire and intention, faces her worst fears and is swept toward awakening. The mystical images of the Tarot’s archetypal trump cards chart the way, 22 sequential steps along the path to success known as “The Fool’s Journey.” Illustrated by images from the Payen Tarot of Marseilles (1713), which is the oldest surviving Tarot deck.

What caught my attention with this book was the idea of using the Tarot’s Major Arcana to tell a story. As a Tarot reader myself, this really called to me as an inventive way of incorporating a bit of mystical atmosphere into a book.

The beginning was really well done. From the first page, the story and the narrator immediately grab on to the reader, making us want to read on. There is a good balance of internal and external action which lets us connect well to the narrator.

This lasts until about half way through the book. Then, the narrative seems to lose steam. The incorporation of the Tarot cards becomes a bit forced, with some preachy paragraphs which are not really necessary to keep the story going, and there’s not any true tension in the plot. Everything seems to work out for the main character, so we lose interest. For example, she thinks at one point that her boyfriend might be cheating on her, which would have made for a good number of tense chapters, but instead it’s resolved too quickly and too easily.

The writing itself is comfortable, allowing the story to flow. It is a simple, yet pleasing story. I would recommend this to all of you who like some mysticism with your fiction.

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