Sunday, 21 August 2016

Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan


Following the sudden death of her beloved mother, Jessica Gibson's world falls apart. But after meeting a man who seems heaven-sent, she starts to feel she has something to live for again, and soon discovers that their connection holds far more significance than she could ever have imagined. And when Jessica strikes an unlikely bond with Alexandra Green, the two new friends are taken on an emotional journey into the world of the supernatural, where psychic mediums pass on messages from beyond the grave. What -- or who -- is causing the strange goings-on in Alex's home? What secret is she keeping from Jessica? And who is the young woman who so badly needs their help? In a series of surprising twists and turns, the pieces of the puzzle finally fall into place and a mystery is unwittingly solved -- with life-changing consequences for all involved.
 

'Out of the Darkness' is an uplifting tale of friendship and redemption; of love and loss. And life...after death.
Goodreads description

I am accustomed to reviewing magic-realist fiction that hails from non-Western cultures that accept the spirit world interacting with that of the living. But what about magic realism from the UK that does the same? Is that the same? Some people might argue that it is not the same - that belief in spirits is not part of the Anglo-Saxon tradition, that this is a literary device or maybe part of the ghost story genre. But they would be wrong. There are many people in the UK and US who are believers in the spirit world and its guides.  

As Katy Hogan explains in a postscript at the end of the book, her mother believed in tarot cards and other psychic phenomena. Hogan's own experiences re-enforced her beliefs and inspired the book. The fact that the spiritual element in the book is based on the genuine beliefs of the author gives this book an interesting alternative feel. 

This is a gentle story, which focuses on the three central female characters and their growing relationship with each other. All three are steered by the spirit of a young man. Who that young man was/is and what his relationship to the women was/is form a key part of the story arc. There are of course some tear-filled moments in the novel - keep a box of tissues handy - but inevitably there is an uplifting ending. After all, the novel starts with the line: Love will always find the way, until we meet again some day...

I received this book free from the author in return for a fair review. 

1 comment:

Malcolm Campbell said...

Considering everything from the Holy Grail to the Druids to the traditional wide belief in faerie as well current witchcraft practitioners (though not Wicca, perhaps), I would think UK authors would have a large potpourri of magical beliefs to choose from.