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Friday, March 4, 2016

In Another Life by Julie Christine Johnson (Review and Giveaway!)


Julie Christine Johnson deftly transported me to Southern France with her lush descriptions and keen eye for details. Fans of Susanna Kearsley will surely enjoy this debut novel.

Book Details: 

In Another Life by Julie Christine Johnson
Sourcebooks
ISBN: 978–2954168197
Release date: February 2, 2016
Historical Fiction/Contemporary Women’s Fiction/ Fantasy/Romance
368 pages Website | Goodreads
Content Rating: PG-13 (There is profanity - 2 f-words - one explicit sex scene, some violence in the form of sword fighting)

Book Description:

Historian Lia Carrer has finally returned to southern France, determined to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. But instead of finding solace in the region’s quiet hills and medieval ruins, she falls in love with Raoul, a man whose very existence challenges everything she knows about life–and about her husband’s death. As Raoul reveals the story of his past to Lia, she becomes entangled in the echoes of an ancient murder, resulting in a haunting and suspenseful journey that reminds Lia that the dead may not be as far from us as we think. Steeped in the rich history and romantic landscape of the Languedoc region, In Another Life is a story of love that conquers time and the lost loves that haunt us all.

Book Review
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

In Another Life is a well-written, atmospheric novel that takes you into Southern France both in modern day and during the medieval era. Lia Carrer is a historian who has studied the Cathar history and beliefs which include reincarnation. When she returns to Languedoc in France, where she had previously lived and where her husband Gabriel died in an accident during his bike race eighteen months previous, she must come to terms with where her life is heading.

Lia meets up with her close friends and begins the healing process. She also falls in love with Raoul, meets Lucas, a brooding photographer who enlists her help as he is creating a book on the Cathar history, and reunites with Jordi, a priest who shares her love of Cathar history. Unbeknownst to Lia, the three are connected and entangled in the history of 1208 when the Pope sanctified a crusade to exterminate the Cathars.

In Another Life reminded me of Susanne Kearsley's books, which I've enjoyed tremendously. Julie Christine Johnson deftly transported me to Southern France with her lush descriptions and keen eye for details. I enjoyed learning about a time in history I knew little about. I also enjoyed the mystery of those who came from another life because I am a fan of time travel, but in this case it was clearly reincarnation, which has less appeal for me. I liked Lia and felt for her struggles and I loved her relationship with her close friends. 

I must admit I had mixed feelings about her relationship with Raoul and the way the story ended. Her relationship didn't seem real to me and I didn't see how they fell in love. There was a lack of passion that was present, which ultimately made sense seeing he had this in his former life. I can't say more without revealing the plot so I'll stop there, but this book felt somewhat anticlimactic to me. Too many loose plot threads too. I was left with a slew of questions at the end. 

Apart from this, I truly did enjoy this novel. I loved the author's writing style and the way she built the aura of mystery. I liked how she easily portrayed family life in Europe and the struggles of a mourning young widow. These were strong points that resonated with me and that appealed to me. Fans of Susanna Kearsley will surely enjoy this debut novel. I certainly look forward to reading more from this promising author.

About the Author:

In Another Life- Julie Christine Johnson

Julie Christine Johnson is the author of the novels In Another Life (February 2016, Sourcebooks Landmark) and The Crows of Beara (September 2017, Ashland Creek Press). Her short stories and essays have appeared in several journals, including Emerge Literary Journal, Mud Season Review; Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim; Cobalt, the anthologies Stories for Sendai; Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers; and Three Minus One: Stories of Love and Loss and featured on the flash fiction podcast, No Extra Words. She holds undergraduate degrees in French and Psychology and a Master’s in International Affairs. A runner, hiker, and wine geek, Julie makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington state with her husband. In Another Life is her first novel.

Visit Julie’s website and blog
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Enter the Giveaway!

Global giveaway open to US residents only: 5 participants will each win a print copy of this book. Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, for more chances to win

Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form]



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7 comments :

  1. thanks for your nice review. I like the way you highlighted what really worked for you in this novel and what worked less. Emma at FBT

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  2. I love the setting but I'm not sure I'd love the medieval time period.

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  3. Thank you for the lovely feature, Laura! xoxo Julie

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Julie! I look forward to reading your second book.

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  4. The story, the locale and the era are all appealing and unforgettable. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway.

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  5. The idea of a modern woman becoming "entangled" in an ancient modern is intriguing to me.

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Thank you for commenting! I appreciate your feedback.

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