Clarissa Johal
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Clarissa Johal
Release Date
December 2012
Paranormal with Romantic Elements

How far would you go to redeem yourself?

As a young girl, Lucinda was able to see spirits, a gift that didn't come without its problems. Now, a dedicated young veterinarian, she is committed to the idea that every life can be saved.

After a devastating accident, Lucinda tries to escape her past by moving to a small town. There, she meets a newcomer and feels an immediate connection with him. But there is another mysterious stranger to the small town, one that stirs within her a mixture of unease and desire.

As Lucinda is drawn into a bitter tug-a-war from the forces around her, she is likewise pulled into a dangerous twist of past and present events. Forced to make difficult choices, she finds that the two men are locked in not only a battle for her life...but a battle for their salvation.

Book Review by Victoria Lane (reviewer)
Sep 13, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
90 people found the following review helpful
BETWEEN by Clarissa Johal is a dark novel about moving on, whether moving past grief for a lost love or moving on to the next spiritual plane. It isn't a light read, but you probably won't need a box of tissues. I give it three stars, wishing that I had been given more information about what was going on earlier in the book.

In BETWEEN, Lucinda Bell is a veterinarian in some unnamed small town on the United States' west coast who is determined to save lives. She has a difficult history with relationships, having buried a fiancé the previous year and become estranged from her family, and not much has changed in her time spent in the small town. She doesn't date and has only one friend, Marny. Another difficulty Lucinda faces is that she sees the spirits of dead people and animals, most of whom she knew while they were alive. Lucinda meets two strangers who allegedly are new in town, but she gets weird vibes from them. Add in some bizarre dreams and visions, and Lucinda is primed for a meltdown.

Lucas and Cronan, the new strangers in town, have been with Lucinda for some time. Lucas is her Guardian Spirit, and Cronan is her Death Spirit. Neither should be visible to Lucinda, but the reader understands early on that they are breaking the rules. It is unclear what the consequences are of their rule-breaking, but all of them are trying to move on with their "lives".

I was intrigued by the spiritual concepts explored in BETWEEN, but like Lucinda, the reader is kept in the dark about what is going on for approximately one hundred pages. That delay caused those one hundred pages to drag painfully, like jetlag. The novel felt aimless in the worst way. I could have used more information up front about Lucas and Cronan, about what was behind all the moved objects, accidents, sleepwalking and random meetings.

Contributing to the slow pace was the dialogue between Lucinda and her two Spirits. Lucinda's inability to ask a question and wait for the answer was confusing. She accepted her Spirits' one word or evasive answers for too long, and she didn't require answers from them before hanging out with them. It was confusing, like these actions didn't fit her character as illustrated elsewhere in the novel.

After those first one hundred pages, the pace picks up, and Lucinda (and the reader) gets some answers. For me, though, it was too little, too late to enjoy the book. On the positive side, the character development is well done at that point. Several characters turn corners and are empowered to move on. As for the romance, Lucinda's interactions with Michael are also appropriate for her situation, and consequently are sweet and appropriate for readers of all ages.

Overall, BETWEEN is an interesting read for those who are spiritually minded or curious, and possibly even those who enjoy paranormal fiction. However, this plotline leans more towards life journeys than two people falling in love. So if you require the main plotline of your chosen novels to be the romantic aspect, this novel is probably not for you.
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