The next book I’ve chosen to review formally is In Another LIfe by Julie Christine Johnson. The novel is a mystical romantic historical murder mystery (there’s a mouthful) that spans 800 years in time and uses the device of reincarnation to link lives across the generations. The book focuses on the persecution of the Cathar sect in Southern France by the dominant Roman Catholic Church in the 12th century and features such luminaries as St. Dominic and Pope Innocent III. I found this gem at Book Club Reading List and it peaked my interest because I’m currently reading Hannah Green’s exquisite masterpiece, Little Saint, which also explores the religious culture of Southern France in the Languedoc region. What a perfect complement, I thought, for a dual review.
Told in dual past and present-day narration, In Another Life is the story of Lia Carrer, a broken hearted historian who becomes entangled in the echoes of an ancient murder.Lia Carrer has finally decided to return to southwestern France determined to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. But instead of finding solace in Languedoc’s quiet hills and medieval ruins, she’s captivated by three enigmatic souls: a photographer, who extends an opportunity to help restart her career; a winemaker, who offers the chance to rebuild her heart; and a priest, who reveals the truth of her new friends’ pasts—and his own. What Lia learns sends her into an emotional tailspin, for each of these men is much more than what he seems, and their unbelievable stories may be linked to her own devastating loss.In Another Life is steeped in the rich history and romantic landscape of rural France, intertwined with Lia’s modern quest to uncover the truth of an ancient murder and free a man haunted by ghosts from his past, resulting in a suspenseful journey that reminds Lia that the dead may not be as far from us as we think.