Necessary Heartbreak by Michael J Sullivan – My Review

Gallery (March 30, 2010)
This book sounded like a premise I could get into and although this is a new author to me I look forward to the continuation of this series (When Time Forgets). Necessary Heartbreak definitely ended up on the deep and traversed many difficult topics from a faith perspective that I could identify with. Despite much of the mainstream fiction I have encountered over the years being as far as a reader could possibly imagine from inspirational or even clean in terms of content – this book scores high in both regards. Despite some unpleasant memories and tragic losses in their pasts, Elizabeth and her father, Michael, find some common ground and a way to move forward in a more positive direction with one another and grow a deeper faith.

Unlike most of us in this electronically overdosed culture and society, Michael and Elizabeth are given a unique opportunity to experience what it might have been like for early Christians when Jesus was abruptly taken from them without ending the Roman abuses of their race and religions. While getting involved with a community service project sponsored by their local church, they stumble upon a passage below the basement that lands them in not only a completely different locale and climate but ultimately a different culture and era of world history. Jerusalem and a nearby village during Jesus final Passover celebration on earth and the other events leading up to what we now celebrate as Easter. The traditions, clothing and expectations in this very foreign world according to their experiences in contemporary New York, are not only disturbing but confusing and seemingly archaic to their fast-paced and oh so progressive minds. How can those who pay lip service at best to Scripture and Spiritual things transition from the 21st century in our Western Culture to Ancient Jerusalem under Roman rule and laws? What lessons can be learned from opening our hearts to the memories we suppress both good and bad in order to pass stories and connections to ancestors to the next generations who could otherwise never have their benefit? Michael has lost so much and tragically so throughout his life span that although their visit to ancient Israel sparks flashbacks both for him and for Elizabeth, it also brings them closer together and allows Michael to share some of the memories he treasures of Elizabeth’s mother whom she never had the opportunity to know in person. The process of growing both in their family ties and in terms of building a faith foundation is something both Michael and Elizabeth are able to share and something that others will attempt to pass off as a dream or imaginary castles in the sky that could land Michael and Elizabeth in a psychologist’s office or at best would simply be laughed off as impossible. Be sure and get your own copy of Necessary Heartbreak to read the whole story and enjoy the sumptuous descriptions of times and places foreign to today’s cultures. Even the reminiscences of Elizabeth and Michael interspersed with their unusual trip bring these characters and those they encounter as they are marooned out of their own world for a time vividly to life for readers such that one is able to taste, hear, see, smell, taste and be immersed in life in that arid desert clime and experience the strength of emotion that affects the primary characters in this narrative as well as a few of the key secondary players. (ISBN#9781439184233, 256pp, $15.00)

Visit the author’s website. Use the bookcover above for more info or to purchase a copy. Thank you to Gallery for a review copy.


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  2. I want to thank you for taking the time to review my debut novel. I realize there is a great deal of effort associated with reviewing books, especially from a first-time novelist. Again, thanks for your thoughts and kindness.

  3. I loved this book. I found it to be theraputic having been homless and also a single parent for many years. I can relate to his fear of losing the one person he loves. The one mistake is that the sacrificial lamb was supposed to be male.

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