Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Nine Lives Of Clemenza by Holly Christine

The Nine Lives Of Clemenza: A Novel by Holly Christine

Here we have a book that was very different from anything else I've ever read. When I first received the review request from the author I debated on whether or not to accept. Based on the book's description I knew the storyline was heavily based on the theory, or form thereof, of metempsychosis (ie rebirth). As a Christian, I'm not one who even remotely considers such a thing as truth, but I decided the book itself sounded like it could be fascinating. I agreed to review the book, knowing full well that whatever the author's beliefs, I'd be reading it purely for entertainment value.

The Nine Lives of Clemenza follows the spirit Clemenza through, just as the title suggests, nine very distinctive and unique lives. The prevailing thought throughout the book is that God creates every spirit, and then allows each to pick what form it would like to live in. Each receives a total of nine lives, after which point he/she can choose to become an angel, return to a past life, or even live out the rest of eternity in Heaven's retirement center. It's an idea that, in and of itself, is pretty kooky, but when compounded upon made for a very uniquely entertainly story.

Clemenza, who we meet before she even embarks on life number one, must carefully decide what life opportunities she'd like to endeavor and explore. Given the chance to choose any form of existance, she must then live her life to its fullest and take away something really important from each one. For upon return to Heaven at the end of each life, Clemenza is required to share with God at least one important thing she learned during her last life. It's important for her to learn as much as she can, because she never knows how her knowledge will come in to play in her next life.

I won't spoil things for the reader by telling what life forms Clemenza ends up choosing along the way, only that each has it's very own extraordinary story. I could tell the author put a lot of time and thought into developing each world and persona for Clemenza. Even when at the most basic of levels, Clemenza was still a thinking, acting, dedicated being. It was intriguing to see how Christine, when all was said and done, brought all of the lives together through a simple analysis of each. And while I put no stock in the idea of reincarnation, I thought the author's book was well written and interesting.

Religious and spiritual views aside, if one can agree to read this book from a fictionalized entertainment standpoint in lieu of a non-fiction stance I think you will quite enjoy the incredible journey Clemenza takes you on. It's not a book for everyone, of that I'm quite certain. I am glad I gave it a chance though, because I really did get a kick out of following Clemenza's story from start to finish. It was a quick and impressive read; one not without pain, grief, love, intense joy, and even an important lesson or two to be learned.

~Bookish Mom, RebekahC

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