M. Kelly explores the idea of entering heaven through a back door in this fictional portrayal of spirits trying to find their purpose in the afterlife.
After dying, Marion finds herself completely alone in an empty “place that was almost black.” She soon discovers that meditation brings her visions and the ability to transport as a spirit back to Earth to interact with her loved ones. When her ex-lover Flynn dies and arrives beside her in the dark place, they set out on a journey of faith to find answers to their new, seemingly meaningless, existence and find a way to heaven. Kelly uses Marion and Flynn’s journey to teach readers that following God’s will is all that matters in life and that submitting to His will is the only way to enter Paradise.
M. Kelly’s use of fiction to share this spiritual message reveals a desire to enlighten and entertain. However, the author’s fiction-writing skills hinder the book’s success. Kelly writes from an omniscient point of view, telling readers every thought, inference and detail, rather than using creative description and action to immerse readers in the fictional world. For example, “Riccardo owned a big, old house”; “She was angry”; and a barrage of other telling statements that leave readers bogged down in explanations.
Also, Kelly often neglects to attribute dialogue and writes in the same unnatural, one-dimensional voice for each character. This lack of variation is tiresome and often forces one to read and re-read to determine the speaker. Kelly attempts to weave suspense and intrigue into the characters’ backstories by mentioning mysterious “psychiatrist files” and a secret key. Unfortunately, these elements are never explained and are intertwined with secondary flat characters that are never developed. Unexpected, random expletives and typographical errors further deflate the experience.
Although M. Kelly’s desire to help readers connect with God on a deeper level is apparent, the story requires revision to make it competitive in today’s market.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.