Friday, February 8, 2019

If, Then

We meet four neighbors in the sleepy town of Clearing, Oregon. They live at the base of a dormant volcano and a typical day includes the ground rumbling a bit.  Ginny, a surgeon and Mark, a scientist are busy working and raising their son. Mark is tracking a species of frog in the forest. Disappointed he did not receive a grant to further his study, he believes the frogs will foretell a natural disaster long before a man made detector will. Samara, a realtor, comes home to help her father and mourn the recent loss of her mother. Her boyfriend patiently waits while she searches for clues and signs she believes were her mother’s wishes. Cass, a graduate student of philosophy has taken a break from work to give birth to her daughter and is finding it hard to separate her mind from motherhood long enough to continue writing. Her mentor Robby, another neighbor, is very sick in the hospital and while Ginny cares for him, Samara has put his house on the market. It is clear  that the destinies of these connected souls are about to change when the visions begin. Every time the earth rumbles these characters witness a parallel universe of themselves. Terrifying at first, the neighbors do not share their visions for fear of being thought insane but they all become desperate to know what these brief moments really mean. This very original novel had me on the edge of my seat. The reader cannot stop turning the pages as this rumbling, like the story itself quietly gains momentum. Highly recommend this well written, hypnotizing debut novel. It really makes the readers imagination run wild.

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