Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Book Review: 'The 8th Journal' by Nicole Parris

Florida author Nicole Parris, a native of Virginia, graduated from Ferrum College in Virginia and holds a masters in Education. Her daughter Wrenn had a double lung transplant in 2010 at only five months old: she is the fourth diagnosed in the world with her rare genetic lung disease. Nicole is the creator/patent holder of a clothing line she designed specifically for babies and children with special needs and she is a freelance speaker and contributor regarding palliative care and lung transplantation. But on to her writing career: THE 8TH JOURNAL is her debut novel and follows her concept of creating characters move into adventures to solve mysteries while finding their true selves.

Nicole may have the level of insights in actual life as she infuses in her novel - she is just that polished at peeling back the layers of costumes that hide the real core person beneath. This book is so rich in surprises and events in history that affect the present that reading The 8th Journal is akin to opening a treasure chest. Actual reality juxtapose with perceived reality is a constant theme in this very well written novel. A for instance here - the following suggest the origin of the title of the book, very subtly: `Emma visualized Percy as a kitten, when she would place him on the table next to her antique typewriter and watch him paw at the keys as they struck the paper. She loved the fact that he wanted to participate. "I guess now that you're old you only want to observe, huh." In one hour's time, Emma had typed the very last word. She unrolled the page, pressed it against her full lips and kissed it as if it were gold. To her left lay the other 400 pages-- face down in a neat thick pile. "It's done, Percy! The seventh book is complete." She placed the last page on top and flipped the manuscript over exposing the title page, which read, Buzz and the Four Chambers, by Emma H. Henry. She then tucked it safely away into a black leather briefcase.' Remember that opening....

Nicole's summary of her plot is as succinct as can be written without spoilers: `What do we really know about ourselves--or the ones connected to us? Holly Anderson, a dreamer, is just looking for an excuse to take a year off before starting college, but she never expected her time off to be so dramatic--or so potentially deadly. Reeling from the discovery that she is adopted and that her birthmother is the author of the best-selling adventure series of which she is also a huge fan, Holly now finds the onus of writing the last book in the series falling upon her inexperienced shoulders. Charged with what appears to be an impossible task, Holly journeys to the home of her eccentric aunt in the West Village, where she must deal with a trail of past murders, the 'Henry Curse,' and the increasingly relentless harassment of the media.' A coming of age story? Yes, that, too. Nicole [packs it all into a very satisfying novel that will appeal to a very broad audience. Grady Harp, June 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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