Author: Gail Cleare
“We have to come to terms with the past to change the direction we are heading. The good times and the bad times both offer us a choice, since we can control how we view them, how we react.” ~ Emily Ross
“Destined” is a novel of the Tarot. Each of the 21 chapters is headed by a black and white scan of one of the cards of the Major Arcana from the Payen Tarot of Marseille (1713), which is followed by a short description of the card, and what it would mean in someone’s life. The storyline in each chapter takes the reader through the journey of enlightenment that is the Tarot by showing how it reflects in the life of the major character, Emily Ross.
When we first encounter Emily she is experiencing a serious altercation with her boss, the sophisticated Lexi. Emily knows that she needs to remover herself from a toxic situation, so she quits, and walks out the door. Of course, this means that she needs a new job, post haste! She sees an advertisement for a manager for a retail store, which interests her, so she goes to apply.
The building has seen better days, but appeals to her. There is something solid here. As she is standing outside debating, the owner, Henry Paradis, opens the door and welcomes her. What she finds inside is a dusty shop that has not been functional for a considerable period of time. It contains curiosities, antiques, and rare books. Henry Paradis is a scholar, with a thriving Internet business, who has come to a time in his life when he wants to literally open upshop again. Although she senses an air of magic about him, little does she know that Henry will become her spiritual guide!
What we need to remember about Emily is that she has abilities that she does not recognize, has never harnessed, and is perhaps a bit afraid of. She has dreams that scare her, filled with monsters, shadows, and more. Henry Paradis is able to read Emily, know what she is thinking and feeling, and know what direction to nudge her in. He encourages her to look toward the future, and not the past.
He will introduce her to a close friend of his, the good looking, debonair Tony, who will have an incredible impact on Emily’s future. Through Tony, she will learn to trust herself, and to trust life.
When Emily starts working for Henry, she is influenced not only by him, but by the neighborhood, which is filled with interesting people of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Emily makes friends with them, and in their own way each one teaches her something about herself.
The tone of this book is gentle, and positive. The characters are well developed, and the storyline engaging. One encounters the spirit of a Chinese man hovering three inches off the ground at the back door – he will have a great impact in resolving an issue that has been bothering Henry Paradis for many years.
Then there is Amy, the young girl that Emily befriends when she finds her going through the garbage in back of the shop. Siri, one of Henry’s neighbors, and her father Gupti. Did I mention that Emily will astral travel? And see aura’s?
The life situations presented in this book are very realistic – they could happen to anyone. And the resolutions are profound. The book’s teachings are a soft whisper, but they are there. Those who know the Tarot will love this book … those who don’t know it will be able to follow it easily. I loved the Ace of Pentacles card that Emily found in the cash register (even though it was incorrectly written as the ace of pentacles), and the three card Past/Present/future Tarot spread that Emily’s friend read for her later in the book.
I also appreciated the fact that Cleare referenced issues that reflect our time – the use of solar panels, green (organic) planting, cultural diversity, Starhawk, Wicca, hybrid cars, coffee bars, Oprah, positive thinking, the power of visualization, the war in Iraq, and incandescent light bulbs, to name a few.
Romance, mysticism, along with a dose of real life – what more can one ask for! The Tarot was presented well here, and clearly shows Emily’s path towards finding herself, and shaping her own future. This makes for a great read!
© April 2012 Bonnie Cehovet