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Past Becomes Present

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

It is always a pleasure to read a writer’s debut novel and Rebecca T. Urrutia’s Past Becomes Present is no exception. A love story with a science-fiction slant Past Becomes Present is entertaining regardless of clichéd phrases predictable plotlines hackneyed dialogue and poor grammar and syntax.

Dave is haunted by visions of the ancient Sinagua tribe. These unique visions bring him fame and financial success as an artist. To escape the rigors and pressures that come with celebrity Dave takes a drive on the coast where he meets a woman named Desiree. They seem destined to be together and fall head over heels in love.

During a romantic trip to Sedona Arizona Dave and Desiree explore the ruins where the Sinagua tribe once resided. Dave disappears and Desiree enlists the aid of a psychic to try to find him. Desiree is devastated by her loss and continues a relentless search.

Meanwhile Dave has somehow traveled back in time to the Sinagua era. The tribe believes that he is their great leader Hotevilla resurrected from the afterlife to save their culture. He discovers his ties with the past why he is so tormented by visions and how his relationship with Desiree is the answer to the question of why the “past becomes the present.”

Although Past Becomes Present is a fast-paced and enjoyable read it is filled with choppy sentence fragments and errors. For example while describing Jeff Dave’s agent Urrutia writes “The best cars yachts and the women flocked over him.” There is no doubt that a life of privilege is best represented by the ownership of the best cars and yachts but Urrutia’s sentence fragment does not make it clear that he owns these objects and the women flock to him.

When the psychic Felini tells Desiree about her first psychic experience she says “I tried to gain my composure then said ‘There is a child buried in that rumble.’” The proper word is rubble not rumble. Whether this misuse of words is the printer’s mistake or Urrutia’s errors like this detract from the story.

While Past Becomes Present contains mistakes and awkwardness readers of short romance novels will still be moved by some of Urrutia’s lyrical prose. She writes “The Grand Canyon…an amphitheatre fit for the gods encompassed by its prismatic colors surfacing the horizon highlighting the awesome view of bald eagles soaring over canyons.”

If they can overlook Urrutia’s mistakes readers will find themselves swept away by her love of nature wonder for the world and the torrential waters of a good story.

Lee Gooden