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“I want you to think about some things over the next few days and weeks. I want you to clearly look inside yourself and ask what it is you want, not what anyone else wants or expects from you. Meditate on it. Pray on it, if that works for you. But make sure that any action you do or do not take is based on what is right and good for you. Not Katie. But the real and true you. You’re starting to see her in your life on a daily basis. Talk to her. Find out what she wants you to do. Then follow through on your heart and soul decision. Only then can you know that what you are doing is right for you, the true you. Not Catherine, not Elinor, not Katie, or any other human body you have inhabited. Do what is right for the authentic and real you.”
Loves of Our Lives
by A.C. Chenier
A rich and compelling novel exploring romances past and present, Loves of Our Lives centers on Katie Benjamin, a happily married woman whose interest in the theory of past lives changes her understanding of herself and the world around her forever.
Along with her best friend, Maria, whose terminal cancer has given her an entirely new perspective on life, she embarks on past-life regression therapy. Here, Katie learns of the lives of Elinor Davenport and Catherine Buchanan and the people they both loved. In the process of finding these two women who once shared her soul she discovers a sense of completeness she never thought possible.
“The same souls come back to us many times and interact with us. This is the way we can understand our souls go on for eternity. These bodies may fail, but our souls do continue on to reunite with our loved ones many times.”
Buy in Canada – Amazon Canada
Buy in the US – Amazon US
5***** Brilliant, unusual, and courageous new romance author
** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
As a believer in reincarnation, I jumped at the opportunity to review this book once I read its blurb because it’s so rare to find novels like this in English. I grew up in Brazil where believing in reincarnation is widely accepted and many authors write about past life experiences but that’s not so in other countries; mainly in English speaking ones thus the rarity of titles about this subject.
As an author, I relate to the difficulties. I’m currently working on a story that deals with reincarnation because I feel so strongly about it. But I set it in Scotland in Celtic times because I thought it would be easier for readers to think it was a fantasy book even though it’s not. Therefore, I applaud A. C. Chenier for her brave debut in the literary world tackling a subject that many might find controversial or downright unbelievable.
For me, it’s clear she writes from the heart and that makes up for the little – no, strike that – tiny glitches I found with this book. For instance, the author, through Katie, spends a great deal of the first 15% of the book introducing the readers to the ideas and work of Dr. Brian Weiss. It bothered me a bit in the beginning until I realized it would be necessary if the writer was trying to present a novel, controversial idea to the general public.
Although I believe our souls return many times in different bodies, I also firmly believe we forget our past lives for good reason. It can be unsettling to poke around in the past and some people get stuck in it. That’s why I don’t think past life regression should be done lightly. Moreover, it should only be use in extreme cases when it can help a person’s understanding and managing of his/her present situation, and never out of curiosity just to learn about a past life. So I was relieved that both Maria and Katie turned to that kind of therapy for very serious reasons and that they took their regression sessions seriously. Maria was attempting to deal with her terminal cancer and Katie, as her best friend, eventually had to seek therapy so that she could support Maria and cope with the situation herself.
Regarding writing style, I for one favor third person omniscient POV like the author used in Loves of our Lives. I don’t have problems following the changes in perspective. However, some readers find it hard as I learned the hard way when I published my first short-story. Lol Here the author does a great job with that so even if you think you don’t like this kind of POV, you should give this book a chance and you’ll be surprised.
Present time events are told in chronological order while the past life regressions aren’t, which was a great positive for me. There is a puzzle-like quality to the past lives narration and I personally enjoy it because it feels like putting together pieces of a jigsaw. Bravo!! And each time Katie visits her past lives, the author brings us, the readers, with her into the past and all of a sudden we’re reading a delicious, well-written historical fiction. Even word choice and sentence structure are different from the present day narrative. Not to mention that the author subtly touches other controversial issues such as homosexuality and mixed race marriage in the 19th century. Bravo again!
As for the characters, there are many in the three different timelines described: present-time Canada, 18th century England, and 19th century United States and they’re fascinating. A. C. Chenier does an excellent job of building their background stories and presenting them to the readers. I liked that the main characters change and evolve. Ward and Katie seem like a loving couple for the first five minutes into the book but the surface soon starts cracking. Ward shows his real colors pretty soon and we learn that he can be quite selfish. No wonder “cute train guy” picks Katie’s interest. Still, I like the fact that both Johan and Katie have solid values and how they show in their attitude. That’s why their struggles feel so realistic. Also, for Katie, the concept of past lives was foreign to her in the beginning so it made sense she needed time to, first, fully understand them; then, be able to make tough decisions in her present life so that she would stop repeating patterns from past ones.
I recommend this book for open-minded readers looking to discover a new, talented author.
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AC Chenier is the author of the Past Lives series of books. The novels explore the fascinating spiritual world and the concept that we are all souls who have lived before, and that we reunite with our loved ones through time. The novels allow her to couple her long standing interest in the romance and fantasy genres with a passion for writing. When she’s not busy typing away at her computer, you can find her with her horses or golf clubs.
Her books are available in paperback and ebook.