Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall

In this modern paranormal novel, the titular protagonist and narrator, Vivienne Marshall, is hit by a truck and lies dying in a hospital bed, having numerous supernatural experiences close to her demise. Guiding her through a variety of different afterlives from which to choose is her guardian angel, Noah, whom she loved when she was younger and wanted to marry instead of her current husband and the father of her child Ivan. She occasionally lapses back into reality, with regular visits from her male nurse Marty, a character who remains positive despite facing the deaths of patients on a regular basis.

Another potential heaven she visits is that of the younger brother of one of her friends, Lachlan, who is smart for his age, and whom she babysat for one day. Vivienne occasionally reveals other facts of her background, such as only taking two days’ worth of ballet lessons before quitting, and visits Lachlan’s version of heaven that consists of a recreational beach. Central to the story is a children’s book, a Newbery Award winner, The One and Only Ivan, about a gorilla with the name, which just so happens to be that of Vivienne’s son.

The narrator reveals other memories such as a girl her age named Eleanor, who went simply by “Ele,” her Boston apartment, and a visit to Argentina where she briefly connected with a poor boy in the South American country. Overall, this story is definitely poignant, given its focus on near-death experiences, and while the ending may be depressing for some, it definitely does conclude on a high note. The overall concept of the novel has been done before in other media, although readers in search of a touching tale will certainly find plenty to celebrate in this story.
Shannon Kirk is the awarding-winning author of the international bestselling Method 15/33 (psychological thriller--bestseller in Colombia and Spain, will be lead title in Italy, 2017) and Heavens (Literary Fiction). Method 15/33 has received multiple accolades: 2015 Foreword Review Book of the Year (Suspense); Winner of 2015 National Indie Excellence Award, Best Suspense; 2015 USA Best Book Finalist; School Library Journal's Best Adult Books for Teens (2015); and Finalist in 2013 William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (when a Novella). Method 15/33 is optioned for a major motion film and has sold to nineteen foreign rights.

When not writing, she is a practicing lawyer, residing on Massachusett's Cape Ann with her husband and son and two cat writing accomplices, Marvin Marquez (in honor of Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and Stewie Poe (Edgar Allen Poe).

Shannon enjoys writing in several genres: literary fiction, psychological thriller, young adult, and poetry. She has been honored three times by the William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. ​

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

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