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Finding Emmaus: The Lodestarre (Series) by…
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Finding Emmaus: The Lodestarre (Series)

by Pamela S. K. Glasner

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332,001,085 (5)1
Recently added byhugh_ashton, CaApril, JPWickwire

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First, it's hard to believe this is a first novel. The voice is one with a good deal of confidence and authority which tells a fascinating story of two parallel lives, separated by a few centuries. I had a few doubts as to the characterization of some of the "past" characters, but not enough to stop me reading the book – nothing as gross as a Viking wearing a wristwatch, anyway.

The plot is fascinating – and Ms. Glasner has obviously researched her subject exhaustively, bringing to light the social structure and prejudices of British America at that time.

Whether or not you believe in the book's thesis of Empathy, there is a core point being made about the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the treatment of those diagnosed as mentally unhealthy in our Western societies. A book well worth reading, and we are promised more to come in future volumes… ( )
  hugh_ashton | Oct 21, 2010 |
“Finding Emmaus” by Pamela S. K. Glasner is one of the most fascinating novels I have read this year. The story takes place in a world where anyone who is too different is thought to have a mental illness and is often persecuted by those who don’t understand. The author takes 2 characters thought to be “ill” and separates them by 300 years then weaves their stories together to show that even though the medical treatments may have changed the acceptance of those who are different by society as a whole, has not.

It is the mid-1600’s and Frank Nettleton has just learned from his grandmother that his “dark days” are due to the fact that he is an empath. Unfortunately it will be many years before he really starts to understand what that means and, when he does, he decides to gather as much information as possible to create a guide for future empaths so they don’t have to go through the years of struggle that he and many others like him, had to endure. The final goal is to get his great work, called The Lodestarre, published but the time is not right and he dies without seeing his dream come to fruition.

Katherine Spencer has just found out that all those years of being diagnosed as “bipolar” may have been a mistake. The countless prescriptions and their debilitating side effects were all for nothing because she is, in fact, an empath. In her research to find out more about empathy she discovers a reference to a book that may have been written 300 years earlier and is excited by the prospect of a manual that could help her understand what is going on and how to live with it. Problem is no one knows if the book really exists as no one has ever been able to find it.

When Katherine sets out on a journey to find this missing book her life, and Frank’s, come together. The result of this intertwining of lives will rock the mental health world and strike fear into the pharmaceutical industry which stands to lose a lot of money if this theory of empathy is taken seriously.

I really found this to be an exciting book that was driven by characters I cared about from the moment they were introduced. I was particularly riveted by Frank’s story, which does take up a lot of the book, and couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen to him. Honestly, this book had me from the opening paragraph and didn’t let go even after the book ended. I’m glad there are more books planned with these characters as I can’t wait to see where their lives go next. ( )
  CaApril | Jun 25, 2010 |
Imagine a world where empathy is considered a mental illness; a world where dozens of people are medicated every day for something that doesn't exist. Imagine being so empathetic that you can feel other people's emotions all the time, every day when you walk out of the house. You can sense danger—tell when someone's lying—and more. And because of this, you've been told you were crazy.

Katherine Spencer, a 54 year old Empath, is just discovering her true nature. When, after countless doctors, dosages and side effects, her medications have no effect, Katherine's boyfriend, Danny, walks out on her. Hurt and alone, she decides to pack up and move to a small town called Weaver's Bridge.

Once there, she finds herself undeniably drawn to a country cottage in dire need of repair. Without a second though, she buys the house, only to find a mystery brewing within. And when a psychiatrist friend begins to hint that she might be an Empath, Katherine finds herself on a quest to find the true nature of Empathy.

300 years earlier, a man named Frank Nettleton lived in the same town, in the same cottage where Katherine now resides. After years of being tormented by his wild and intense bouts of emotional instability, Frank comes to realize that he is an Empath, and in order to spare future generations the same pain and confusion he feels, he sets out to create the proverbial bible of Empathy—a quest that consumes much of his adult life.

In this spellbinding historical fantasy, Finding Emmaus, author Pamela S. K. Glasner has proven her talents. Her characterization is wonderful. By the end of this book, I was attached to each character. They all have their own flaws and motives—their own ways of validating their actions and how they accomplish things. Because of this, her characters seem more like people, than flat imitations on a page. The cast is both dynamic and inspiring, and they keep the pages turning.

And while I'll say that Finding Emmaus is definitely a character-driven novel, plot isn't sacrificed. A multitude of story threads are launched from page one, and they continue to weave in and out of each other—hinting here, pulling there—for the duration of the novel. Finding Emmaus reminds me a bit of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, in the sense of the historical and present storylines weaving so effortlessly together… but better.

The prose is also wonderful. I didn't find myself 'snagging' against the words, wondering about the word choice or grammatical errors. Every single word fit perfectly in its own little niche.

It isn't often that you find a good writer who is also a good storyteller, but I'm pleased to say that Pamela S. K. Glasner is just that. With well-developed, dynamic characters, a complicated plot, and beautiful prose, I felt each and every paragraph falling into perfect order—like a puzzle. Finding Emmaus is the first book in a trilogy, and if the author keeps up the good work, she will in me, a faithful reader.

You can find more reviews like this one at my blog: http://www.dailymonocle.blogspot.com
  JPWickwire | Jun 15, 2010 |
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