Friday, December 30, 2016

Book Review: In Another Life by Julie Christine Johnson

In Another Life tells the story of Lia Carrer, a young widow who lost her husband in a biking accident two years earlier. She returns to the country she loves best, Languedoc in the south of France to work on her dissertation about the Cathars. From her first day, she encounters strange happenings and meets people who seem familiar in ways that they should not. There's Lucas, the enigmatic photographer, with whom Lia is collaborating on a book. There's Raoul, the quiet vintner who lost his own wife and children. And there's devious Father Jordi Bonafe who leaves clues for Lia regarding the Cathars and the murder of Archdeacon Pierre de Castelnau, the event which precipitated the massacre of the Cathar people in 1208.
The Cathars believed in reincarnation for souls that were killed without a chance at redemption. Lia is forced to confront this belief as events unfold and she becomes the instrument for atonement of these lost souls. This is a finely written book, truly descriptive of the beauty of the Languedoc region. I've been to some of the locations in the book and the author absolutely nails the mystical allure of the ruins, countryside, and towns. The story moves along at a good pace, and the two timelines are skillfully woven in to make a cohesive and interesting story. This is a lovely story with themes I will ponder in days to come. I want to thank Netgalley for letting me read this wonderful book.

Link to Amazon