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Book Reviews


An Extraordinary Journey of the Heart

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Psychology and mythology merge in this spiritual journey of a tormented woman.

The forces of good and evil engage in battle within the depths of a tormented woman’s soul in this mesmerizing spiritual journey. Inspired by actual experiences, Bridges: An Extraordinary Journey of the Heart reveals W. S. Williamson’s past as a volunteer in the Peace Corps—a fictional dramatization that skillfully blends the factual with the imaginative, and, perhaps, even reveals the fine line drawn between the two realms.

A spiritual intrigue similar to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, this creative twist on a popular subgenre combines the sentimentality of Nicholas Sparks with the realism expected of a hardcore journalist. A gifted storyteller, Williamson pursues her descriptive passages with passion and expresses her emotions with the perceptiveness of a psychologist. Intellectual without being off-putting, this fascinating thriller traverses into an unknown dimension of the human mind—a world peopled with fallen angels and dethroned idols. It shines a spotlight on downtrodden foreign environments plagued by desperation and superstition.

Reminiscent of the Old Testament story of Moses, Williamson’s heroine, a modern writer, encounters an inexplicable communication device: “Specks of embedded mineral dust sparkled on a page. She hadn’t noticed them before. Were they patterns, or hidden codes? As she lifted the page to look at it more closely, her pendant necklace swung against it, sounding a clear, sweet note. Jessie sat back, intrigued. What a stunning sound, she thought. It speaks without words.”

In time, the protagonist must confront her growing fear of omens, destiny, and fate as strange occurrences have her looking over her shoulder and searching the hidden recesses of her psyche. As she struggles to comprehend this mystical tablet known as the Word, she tries to anticipate the future by analyzing an internal disruption that may have a heinous source—Satan himself: “Breathing deeply and slowly, she tried to stay calm. Without any doubt, something was chasing her, and it was dark.”

Although this Gates of Hell scenario sounds hackneyed at first, the story does not succumb to trite explanations or biblical moralizing. Instead, the plot seeks to play devil’s advocate, spinning an assumption on its head. The so-called love of her life may not be what her heart seeks, while a positive-negative force, deeper and disturbing, threatens to disrupt her sense of well-being. An interplay of lightness and darkness derived from mythology—and apparently loosely based on the theories of Carl Jung—takes this well-edited book to a high level of sophistication, as it encompasses more than elementary principles extracted from religion.

Bridges: An Extraordinary Journey of the Heart is Williamson’s outstanding fiction debut. Just as the beckoning cover depicts a rustic wooden walkway winding into greenery and sunlight, this sensitive author will lead the traveler to astonishing places.

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have his/her book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Review make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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