A Second Lease of Life
by Madeleine Lüthi
Trafford Publishing

"œThe expression on his face gave none of his inner turmoil away. He needed the solitude of his special karate space to find his inner peace."

Swiss native Madeleine Lüthi spent years backpacking around the globe, and ultimately settled into a quiet life in Australia. Influenced by the friends and acquaintances made during her travels, Lüthi drew upon those individuals for inspiration in this complex, character driven novel. A Second Lease of Life proves a most fitting title, as it reflects the newfound opportunities and life-changing situations that challenge the story's central protagonists.

When womanizing musician/reporter Phillip McCabe meets the open-hearted, wayfaring Kid, it's simply love at first sight. A whirlwind romance ensues and takes them from Kid's Australian homeland to a new married life in Tennessee. Kid's gentle demeanor and generous spirit are clearly influential and instrumental in helping Phillip reconnect with his long estranged brother. David, a Vietnam vet suffering post traumatic stress, is serving time in a St. Louis penitentiary on a manslaughter conviction. Upon his release from prison, David slowly acclimates to society. Though he struggles with his new freedom and everyday social skills, he clearly excels at karate and is a master in the field.

We learn quickly that for David, "karate is neither a sport nor a hobby… it's a philosophy… a way of life." Here the author effectively uses the character's deep connection with this Eastern martial art as a core transitional element throughout the book and as a lifeline to peace and balance for David's troubled soul.

Lüthi introduces several secondary characters as well, including band members, co-workers, and housemates that provide a nexus to David, Phillip, and Kid, and the uneven tapestry of their lives. In addition, the author's unusual narrative style often comes with a forewarning that things are about to change. Unique word phrasings also allude to Lüthi's own inherent voice. There is an active fluidity to the storyline that includes fires, heroic rescues, marital discourse, financial problems, tragic illness, and checkered pasts. But above all, this thought-provoking work brings to light the importance of love, honor, family, and forgiveness, the rudimentary principles sustained at the heart of this poignant drama.

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