A Place Called The Way
by Corrine Ardoin
Black Rose Writing

"Well, Jackson may have gone away, she thought, but her son's nightmares kept the man very present in their lives."

Ardoin's book tells a story of a pioneer town in a mountain valley that had belonged to a local tribe of natives. The pioneers then built a way station for travelers, and slowly the small community grew. Early in the narrative, two of the men in town argue over the town's name, The Way, with such seriousness that they end up fatally shooting each other. The story then shifts to tell of each of the community's families, seemingly emphasizing how each thrives or suffers based on their use of spiritual wisdom. For example, Coco finds peace by relating to her Hispanic relatives, while Jim finds peace by being responsible for his illegitimate son. The scenes of the townspeople celebrating occasions together show their satisfaction with the harmony they have created.

Ardoin is a master-level healer who employs energy medicine, and the healing experienced by her characters is an obvious focus within the storyline. It is clear from how the narrative is constructed that the characters should strive to help each other. However, the overall effectiveness of the plot and its encouraging message would have possibly been enhanced by focusing more on fewer characters as well as offering more clarity about how they should find direction. Overall, though, the novel is a soothing look at how people can share their goodness with others. The author's book might find a receptive audience in those who enjoy reading about how the personal growth and healing of ordinary people can impact not only themselves and their loved ones but also a community's health as a whole.

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