A life of dreams, hopes, tragedies, and escape fruits is one of the finest fantasy novels written in the decade. J.L Berkowitz is not your everyday mother, wife, or daughter that set out to write one day and brought about a masterpiece.
It will not be wrong to call Berkowitz’s novel a reflection of her reality. This is one of the novels where the author’s life and mind help understand ‘between the line’ quotes in the book and the story.
The foundational element – a woman’s spiritual journey of escapism, is one that Berkowitz probably relates to the most. Her life saw a traumatic experience where she found her guardian angel and her dreams to escape her ugly truth may have inspired the element.
But what is Berkowitz trying to say when she portrays her protagonist to be Michael – the archangel – soulmate or endgame as they say?
Is it the author’s connection with her dreams that brought her to this landing? A woman’s journey to find the reason for her destination. No, I am not talking about the author here. I am talking about the book. The parallel is not very difficult to miss.
One aspect standing out in the book is the woman’s acceptance of being her soulmate of Michael. Michael is not your ordinary angel. He is one of the strongest archangels. He’s a flame that is not to be messed with. He is grand. But the protagonist knows their grandeur as well. Who better than her to be the soulmate? She has something that not even the most powerful angels possess! The knowledge.
It is not the destination that is bothersome to the woman. It is the reason for the destination she wants to find out. If nature hath destined them to be together, nature knows something about her that she does not. Does seeking oneself make one deny reality? Berkowitz clearly shows that this is not the case at all. That lies in the idea of the strength that might become oblivious in the big space where you are just a tiny dot.
“Kicking her legs back and forth so just the tips of her toes touched the surface of the chilly water, each brief splash makes her smile’s reflection wiggle on the water.” This is one of the first impressions of Aree (the protagonist) that the reader finds. The wait of the lady for her man! Her smile is what is gathered here! The beautiful smile of self-love is it? Or is it the smile of oblivion? Or it may be the smile of knowing her endgame as we find out later on.
Barely a few sentences in, Berkowitz drops a sly Easter Egg for the readers. The wiggle in the water. The smile wiggled as a result of her tiptoes. Her sneaking into herself cannot be possibly all unicorns and rainbows. It will come with ripple effects and a wind whirl of emotions – both to the reader and to her.
The plot thickens as there is one task that only Aree can do. The order givers or the ‘Elder’ find a task that only fit Aree. In a room filled with the most powerful angels, there is a simple spirit called Aree that is going to save the universe.
“We never would have made this decision if we thought Aree was not the right choice for this mission. Aree feels things and energies we don’t understand. She knows how to communicate with nature and understands the needs of all trees and plants. There is no one like her left. She is very special.” Comes the reply when the true lover wants to protect his maiden.
It is once again established that while she may be different from Michael, she is no less! If anything the Elders seem to prove that Michael may be in tough competition when it comes to his lady love. However, the journey is yet to begin. Because at this point, not even the woman of the hour knows her place.
Perhaps Berkowitz has touched on the ideology of the great poet, William Wordsworth and his approach to nature being the truth. The elder emphasizes that Aree has a nature connection that not even the elders may have. She may have reached the Socrates level of the ultimate truth. But here things are different! At one point, Aree is living the ultimate truth. However, collateral damage finds the most positive discoveries for her.
After her abode from heaven, Aree is Sassy. A human who does not remember her original self. However, her heart may not be satisfied with her life.
“Why am I so unhappy? Today’s sales were good, yet I am so lonely…” She yearns so badly for love. She thinks that maybe it’s not for her. Maybe she is supposed to be alone.” Sassy has a feeling of being alone but Alas this word maybe keeps her on the hook of where she belongs. Deep inside she knows that someone is waiting for her.
The rest of the book takes the journey across vivid imagery and symbolism. A scorned lover and the forgotten lover take turns to show how their journey came across. The self-understanding and the finesse of finding oneself in the big world show vibrant imagery throughout the entire novel.
The transition from Aree to Sassy is a beautiful and relatable symbolism for all women in the world. It helps identify the different stages of life each woman goes through.
Perhaps Berkowitz did it on purpose to show us her evolution. Or perhaps, it is one question that does not need an answer. Only the feel of it!
A visually remarkable journey that does not help but bring ones attention to themselves. That is what this book is about! The mindfulness of being yourself. The thoughtfulness shows through powerful metaphors takes you to the eternity.
Will love stand the test of the universe? You can only find out when you pick up a copy!
Contact Person: J.L. Berkowitz
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Country: United States