Monday, April 27, 2015

Beyond Believing by D D Marx : A Review

Book Title: Beyond Believing by D.D. Marx
Category: Adult Fiction , 248 pages
Genre: Romance, Chick-Lit
Publisher: Next Century Publishing
Release date: April 6, 2015
Content Rating: PG-13
          When Olivia gets news of her best friend Dan’s fatal car accident, her life is shattered. Consumed with grief and struggling to find any meaning or purpose to life, she trudges along with a gaping void in her heart. Finally, when her frustration reaches its peak, Olivia decides to put her trust in the depth of friendship the two of them shared. That trust finally allows him to breakthrough to her, and Dan begins to guide Olivia through the twists and turns of her life, leading to something new and entirely unexpected.
          When Olivia exposes a gigantic internal scandal at work, her career implodes. With no job and nowhere to turn, she escapes to Palm Springs for the sympathy and care of her beloved cousin, Garrett. However, with only weeks left before the opening of his newest store, “Gin and Tonic,” Garrett isn’t quite the comfort Olivia had expected. She yet again tries to find her way, and in the process meets someone who begins to fill that void in her heart. She’s never before experienced a love like this; it heals her soul and rekindles her spirit – and just may have been the design of her dearly departed friend all along.
          Beyond Believing is a sweet, funny, and romantic story that touches the heart, serves up delicious twists and turns, and shows the reader that there’s no such thing as “coincidence.” Author D.D. Marx regards this book as her “love letter to friendship,” written in memory of her best friend, Dan.
          Starting from the first line, Beyond Believing captured my attention.
          ‘My Name is Olivia Henry, and I am addicted to friendship.’
          Seasoned readers would have already deduced a few things from this single line. Beyond Believing is a heart warming tale of friendship, love and is a first person narrative from two different points of view. Olivia Henry and Finn McDaniels belong to two different countries. One is from Chicago, a friendship addict who places more importance on people, and the other from Scotland, and who has another smashing opening line.
          ‘My name is Finn McDaniels, and I am an obsessed foodie, not eating, but cooking.’
          I could relate to that! But the amazingly memorable lines apart, the story follows the lives of these two characters as they grow up from careless kids to professionals who want to passionately work for some cause they like. Olivia’s journey from school to college to the various jobs as she deals with the loss of a friend and tries to find a soul mate is filled with relatable moments and a sense of being connected with the reader. Finn, on the other hand, is obsessed with cooking and decides to professionally train himself in that art. He reaches Paris and decides to work there, where he meets his future wife.
          All through the story, even though the readers can find parallels between both the narratives and people who are exceptionally good with following names and individual characters would find the common link between these two seemingly different narratives, the suspense is well maintained and the visuals are so stunning that we could actually VIEW the story as it unfolds. What happens when these two people cross each other’s paths is not even the central point of the story. It happens well into the last few chapters of the story.
          But all readers can note the parallels between the lives of Olivia and Finn – the school day friendship, the loss of a loved one, a supportive family and the search for a work they feel passionate about. They are as similar as they are dissimilar. Olivia is unsuccessful in the life partner department and Finn succeeds in marrying his love, but loses her. But their paths do cross in the most unexpected way possible.
           When you read Beyond Believing, you travel with these lead characters as they approach life, and handle all it throws at them – not with an amazing grace like most heroes would, but falling down and staggering back up, like normal people do. They are not larger than life, they are not the perfect models of human characterisation. They are prone to weaknesses, they are prone to disasters, they are victims to the play of fate and they cope with it. They try to deal with it. They feel the presence of the person they loved and lost in the little things that happen in their lives. One lost a best friend and the other lost a spouse, two different people, two different genders, but the emotions are same.
          The plot is simple in its brilliance. The story is realistic fiction. The language is simple and memorable, with the dialogs having a lot of impact both on the reader and on the flow of the story. The characters are deeply sketched and are described so clearly that you could visualise them. The overall story adheres to the summary well and the cover page is attractive. Beyond Believing is a must read. It definitely would strike a chord with you. It is a story for everyone, and is sure to rekindle your memories. A beautiful, well written, humorously phrased story.
          D.D. Marx is a contemporary romantic fiction writer and blogger, as well as a lover of all things social. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton, as well as the Second City program in Chicago, where she currently resides. A proud aunt and self-described hopeless romantic, Marx has always has a knack for humorous and engaging storytelling. Her pen name is a dedication to her beloved friend Dan, who continues to guide and inspire her in her daily life.
PRICE: $22.46 for Hardcover

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