16 March 2016

Review #369: The Girl in the Mirror by Constance McKee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy.”

----Emily Bronte

Constance McKee, an American forensic psychiatrist, pens her debut book, The Girl in the Mirror that unfolds the story of a woman psychiatrist who after the death of her beloved husband goes through near death experience (NDE) but soon her diagnosis maker her addicted to it and she gets a hang of it thereby finding a way to meet her husband again and again, before things get too risky and complicated for her.


Psychiatrist Jodi Kendall adores her husband, Michael. They have a serious argument in which she detaches from her body—a coping technique she’s never revealed to anyone. The next day, Jodi can’t remember the details of the argument and, before they can reconcile, Michael suddenly dies.

Six months later, distraught and confused, Jodi takes an accidental overdose and has a near-death experience in which she has a brief, loving encounter with Michael. He seems so real that, after her resuscitation, she consults a near-death experience expert, Dr. Simon Bentley, who concludes that Michael exists, in the flesh, in a parallel world. Jodi, with Dr. Bentley’s help, resolves to join Michael again. Her quest becomes an obsession, and as she begins to despair, she finally discovers the path to Michael’s world. What she finds there surprises her and ultimately changes her life.

Dr. Jodi Kendall's loving husband Michael dies out of cardiac arrest all of a sudden. Jodi loved Michael way too dearly and it became difficult for her to cope with the her husband's loss. Six months later, due to a sleeping pills overdose, Jodi experiences a near death situation where she could feel her living and healthy husband and in that moment she spent some time with him. Curiosity gets the best of her as she embarks on a journey to reunite with her husband again and again without the help of drugs. Enters Dr. Simon Bentley, a NDE expert, who believes that Jodi's near death journeys take her to a parallel world where loved ones exist. But her obsession to find Michael leads her on the path to self-discovery.

Despite of being a debut writer, the author's writing style is extremely articulate with the tone being mystifying. The author's narrative approach is pretty free-flowing layered with enlightening stories of so many near death experienced characters but on the flip side, there are quite a bit of medical science jargon which at times made it difficult for me to comprehend. Otherwise the pacing is really fast and the story arrested me right from the very beginning.

The author explores an unique theme into her story line that is both layered with proper suspense thus keeping the readers anticipating till the very end. The characters are filled with realism in their demeanor and are quite well-developed. Jodi, the main character, goes through a lot of evolution. Jodi seems to be a doting and loving wife to Michael, but her love for him turns into a compulsion which detaches her from her family, friends and colleagues. The supporting cast are quite well-crafted from the best friend to the doctors, all seem to lens a supporting hand towards Jodi during her NDEs.

The author not only explores the unexplained world of NDE research but also throws light into the life of a married couple that faces quite a deal of marital issues. And those scenes between this married couple are depicted with deep evocative emotions.

Overall, this is a remarkable as well as enlightening story that is both emotional as well as intriguing enough to keep the readers glued till the very last page.

Verdict: NDE might not sound real to you, but read this book to see and understand the universe of NDE.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author, Constance McKee , for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book.

Author Info:
Connie was in private practice in psychiatry for many years before becoming a forensic psychiatrist, working with the criminally insane. The work was fascinating, but also stressful, so she decided it was time for a change. She'd heard amazing stories from her patients--truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction--so she decided to try to put those stories, and her feelings about them, into words (while carefully protecting identities). When she realized that writing wasn't as easy as she thought, she enrolled in the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine, where she received a MFA in creative writing. In addition to this novel, she has written short stories: one of which was given an award by the Atlanta Writers Club, and another appeared in the online literary magazine "The Perch," which is connected to Yale University.
Connie grew up in coastal Alabama, has lived in both Eastern and Western states, and now resides with her husband in the Atlanta area. When not writing, she enjoys reading, running, and spending time with family and friends.
Visit her here

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much, Aditi, for the thoughtful and generous review. I'm so glad you enjoyed my book, and I hope that your blog readers try it and like it, too.


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