Knowing my point of view about such moments, the universe placed a copy of Sandra Hatfield’s delightful novel Zero Degrees of Separation on my desk when it came time for me to review a book for the November issue of Georgia’s Living Jackson Magazine.
Sandra Hatfield, whom I haven’t knowingly met in this lifetime, lives a few miles up the road. Yet, we may well have walked some of the same pathways as we each found ourselves drawn to remember how the universe works; especially “death,” “dying,” and the “afterlife.” As I read Zero Degrees of Separation, I discovered a fictionalized account of my own belief system in which “death” as call it and fear it and avoid it is a very natural transition between realms.
Most readers of Zero Degrees of Separation will clearly see before Hatfield’s main character Christina sees it, that she has died. Even so, she finds herself thinking that she’s never felt better in her life, for gone is the hospital bed where she lay dying where her family experiences the grief of our universal experience when we appear to be separated from family and loved ones for all eternity.
The novel provides us with a window into an afterlife that contrasts sharply with the traditional versions most of us grew up with. Whether Hatfield’s version seems plausible or not as you read, Christina’s experiences make for an interesting story. So, too, Christina’s compassionate feeling for those left behind who are experiencing grief at her absence.
No doubt, Hatfield’s many years of experience with Hospice and The Twilight Brigade, helped her write the novel’s scenes about grief in a way that is not only real to readers, but potentially empathetic and helpful in their own lives.
Hatfield’s novel, which I think you’ll enjoy, is available from her own website for $18.30 (including S&H) via check or Paypal.
Copyright (c) 2008 by Malcolm R. Campbell