The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall by Shannon Kirk and published today by Reputation Books will make the difference in the market. I am sure of it.
When I studied Dante Alighieri and his Comedia written in 1200 at the high school it was common opinion with the other colleagues and teacher that maybe, maybe Dante had had some visions of what it would have meant once dead Hell, Purgatory and Paradise.
I have had the same sensation reading this book by Kirk.
Many compliments to Shannon because presented something precious, touching under many aspects.
The book starts with Vivienne who, thanks to a very bad incident while she is going to work, she is in South Boston and she works for a Publishing House, she is transported without too much hope of surviving from the many injuries at the hospital.
At the moment what we know of her is that she is married, happily married with Jack, and she has a son, Ivan.
At the hospital she starts to goes in and out. Sometimes she is conscious in the sense that she is still attracted by this life, other times no.
Why? In the second chapter the first appearance of Noah.
Who is Noah?
Noah was Vivienne biggest love of her life. He died tragically. He firstly had had an incident who had left his body severely injured and then the final departure. Vivienne suffered like a beast, because Noah to her meant all during her childhood and teenage age. They have been firstly friends, then a couple. They grew up together, slept together when children as friends, discovered the first kisses together, and the knowledge of their body, experienced life. All together.
Common friends, same passions.
Then this adverse destiny changed the cards on the life's table for Vivienne and Noah. Forever.
But can a real love die although one of the two doesn't exist anymore on this Earth?
Noah tells without too many compliments to Vivienne that she will die.
It is sure it's just a story of hours, days, who knows? Maybe he knows the answers but can't tell it. Maybe he is cheating but Noah has never cheated Vivienne.
Vivienne is still attracted by her life on this Earth, she has a son a very intelligent son and Good Lord, she loves her husband, maybe not the same love she experienced for Noah, but she fought also for winning Jack. Jack in fact was brilliantly in the happiest phase of his life when they fell in love: he would have married a beauty from Michigan, Stephany. Numerous sisters and brothers, the perfect girl.
Vivienne appeared like the "error."
But then the two fell in love and the story started to be positive for Vivienne.
Sure: Vivienne remembers Noah. She missed him so badly during all these years although of course life and work absorbed her a lot and life suck all our energies and sometimes past since there is not a brutal event able to bring it back is buried as it must be buried - I am sure it's not a fault but a necessity or just a word called Life -, in a distant corner of our soul.
Vivienne is remembering... Noah loved her and she loved him so badly.
Noah asks her to choose the Heaven she wants...Vivienne will choose the places of people attracted her the most stopping by in amazing places plenty of colors, beatitude where there is a profound peace and the hope of a great serenity.
They're artistic trips, (thanks for Milan!) with incredible friends like Armadillo, eccentric, an artist, with a special past, one of the closest Vivienne's friends.
At the very beginning of the tale there is also a different voice, the one of Marty: Marty is a nurse, from the profound South of the USA and with a Bostonian accent. Wonderfully portrayed Marty will try to keep alive Vivienne with all himself reading her journals, and telling her anecdotes, because she must return, wherever she is, she must return.
Problem is: Vivienne wants to return or she will choose to love for all her afterlife passionately her Noah?
Touching the choice of the new house of Vivienne when 25 years old she discovers to be pregnant and still unmarried. A victorian house bought for few dollars because the actual owner, we can say remembered Noah and remembered her, and their big love deciding to leave her the house for just a symbolic price.
And this house, in case of her departure couldn't be sold by Vivienne's husband leaving in case the choice at their son Ivan once Ivan 21 and only for financial necessities.
Ivan in fact loves this big house where he can plays where he can stays relaxed, surrounded by trees, a big garden and the magnificence of a countryside.
And I found extraordinary the description of Hell. It sounded like to be in one of the scene of Robin Williams' movie What Dreams May Come, where the protagonist is searching for his wife (she killed herself) and found her if I remember well in a sort of horrible grey field plenty of souls' heads...
Hell is grey. Hell is immobility and impossibility of doing anything. Hell is this. Maybe much more worse than flames and warm.
Another voice in the book the one of a very very old son of Vivienne, arrived at 98 years and plenty of children and great-children! What a joy. A life that closed the circle of its existence. Ivan told that no one of his family was called Vivienne after his mom's departure, because that name too important to all of them.
The writing-style of this writer is incredibly poetic and erudite. I loved it so badly from the first time I opened digitally this eBook thanks to NetGalley.
I wish all the best at this book!
Go for it, and buy it with the certainty that you will buy a memories more than a book about the after life or the sufferance.
There is the analysis of a life, friends, parents, relationship, work, passions.
And you will love it, exactly as I loved it.
Perfect for a gift!
Anna Maria Polidori