Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Helper by M. N. SNow

The Helper
by M. N. SNow

My rating: 4 stars

Publisher: M. N. SNow (November 15, 2016)
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Print Length: 296 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
A tale that combines contemporary, speculative fiction with an ambiguous spirituality. The book explores relationships between lovers, friends, families, and what Powers of Good there may be.
John Sloan is an ex-Marine with a life-long secret that is haunting him. He is a conduit to a healing light that draws him to people on the brink of emotional disintegration, people who are then healed and Helped by this light. His blue-collar world is shattered when he finds that his connection to this anonymous portal has vanished. He is alone, seemingly beyond aid, and in desperate need of a Helping himself.
The book tracks the intersecting lives of John and two other Helpers. His lifelong friend Dusty Hakalla is a mixed-blood Ojibwe, with a secret of his own. His power to Help is remarkable, but was once destructively misused. A career Marine, his scarred childhood and momentary abuse of power have left him jaded and bereft. Deena Morrison, also a Helper, is John's girlfriend. Adopted as an infant, she flees John to find her birth-mother, while carrying within herself her own secret. Another character shadows their lives as narrator, Nan'b'oozoo, the trickster god of Ojibwe legend—at times sarcastic and petulant, at others insightful and humorous.
The novel travels from the gritty Lake Superior port-cities and Indian Reservations of northern Wisconsin to the Jewish neighborhoods of North Miami Beach, Florida—from Parris Island to the war zones of Kuwait and Afghanistan.

 
 The Helper by M. N. SNow

The HelperNeeding a different, yet totally engrossing read? THE HELPER by M.N. Snow is THAT book! Told in a rather chaotic way, filled with present day characters, flashbacks, and drama, the plot is not a straightline tale. It is the entwining of three main lives, their “gifts’ of being a “helper,” meaning they have the power to recognize and act when a person needs help. Easy enough, or maybe not so easy.

Present day, John has lost his purpose, his gift and he is adrift, thinking back on life, how he was able to give to others through his gift, how he made lifelong friendships and more with others like him. Here we segue from John’s memories to Deena, another Helper he let get away. Then there is Dusty, perhaps the most powerful of them all, John’s best friend throughout life. Each have their own dark pasts to overcome, each have their own disappoints in life, each has been left in pain, but one will make the ultimate sacrifice for the others just when they need it most.

Thought provoking, perfectly put together, from the well-timed, if not slightly overdone, “locker room banter” to the enlightenment received. From the prologue to the last page, this is a journey that will resonate more as you reflect back on this well-crafted tale as you discover that heroes come in all sizes and shapes and everyone could use a helper sometimes!

I received this copy from M.N. SNow in exchange for my honest review.

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