Publisher: Ylva Publishing
Piercing Fiction: Straight Arrow Reviews - August
Lois C. Hart does not issue books as frequently
as some authors, but when she does have one come
out the reader can be sure that it will be an interesting
story that is well produced. Walking the Labyrinth
continues that pattern.
The death of her wife from cancer has caused Lee
Glenn to descend into a private hell where she doesn't
eat, doesn't leave her house and has cut herself
off from everything. Her life has come to a shocking
halt until her friends finally stage an intervention
and she is forced back into the world. Lee and her
partner in a successful private security company
decide she will take on a protection detail for
a spoiled ex-model who says she is afraid of her
husband. This should be an easy assignment to help
Lee ease back into things because the client wants
to return to a remote part of Canada where she was
raised. Lee doesn't realize she is about to meet
a unique group of people who are going to help restore
Lee Glenn, a woman in her sixties, is about to discover
that there is life after disaster. Her guide on
that trip will be Gaelle Germaine, the spoiled model's
mystical, spiritual mother. Gaelle is building a
labyrinth to help with her meditation and she coaxes
Lee into helping her with the job. Lee thinks spiritualism
is "hooey," but Gaelle is fascinating.
Just as feelings develop between them, Lee discovers
something about Gaelle that is horrifying and it
causes her to flee from what can only be more pain.
Lee isn't the same person however and she cannot
forget what she has learned from Gaelle. Now the
question is, is she strong enough to follow a new
sense of being?
Where to start with the wonderful things about
this book? First, the story is about older characters.
This is particularly enjoyable in a genre that seems
to be dominated by younger people who are just beginning
the lessons that older women have completed. The
book also has a very appealing spiritual quality
to it. It doesn't advocate any particular system,
but opens the reader to probing thoughts and questions
that can be pondered outside of the book. The characters
are also interesting. Many people have known someone
who has been destroyed by the tragedies of life.
They also know that calm, reassuring person who
seems to radiate wisdom from a place deep inside.
These are the people you want to be like when you
meet them, if you can just figure out how they developed
that state of being. And all of this is wrapped
up in a story that is completely understandable.
No convoluted vocabulary or esoteric ideas that
confuse the reader and get in the way of the message.
Lois Hart isn't finished writing yet, but Walking
the Labyrinth may turn out to be her magnum
opus. If so, she couldn't hope for any better.
This is a highly recommended book. Read it and prepare
to go on a journey of your own discovery.
Lesbian Fiction Reviews - August 2013
Walking the Labyrinth by Lois Cloarec Hart
is one of those lesbian novels that put a smile
on your face when you finish it because it's, at
the same time, sweet, deep and full of wonderful
messages about life, love, loss and second opportunities.
This book is about a travel, Lee's travel from
a heartbreaking loss to live again when she thinks
there's nothing left for her after having lost what
she loved most. That way, we meet Lee, the co-founder
of DeGroot and Glenn security, when she's devastated
for Dana's death. As anyone who has lost someone
important you'll see yourself in her and will understand
her desperation, her emptiness.
One last gift from her beloved Dana makes Lee understand
that she can't go on like that, that there are a
lot of people who love her and need her, that she
has to keep living, honoring the huge love she shared
with the fantastic woman who was taken from her
As the most important things in life, her new opportunity
comes from the last person Lee would think, a spoiled
brat around her thirties who's running from her
husband. Lee, moved for something beyond her, accepts
the job and accompanies Britten to Donegal, where
her family live and her abusive husband won't find
her. Lee will soon discover that the story Britten
has told it's not exactly what really happened between
her and her husband but this is the last of Lee's
problems. In Donegal she'll find a kind of peace
she thought she had lost with Dana's death, she'll
feel that she fits again in the world, and all that
thanks to an eclectic woman who talks about young
and old souls, reincarnation and signals from those
who had died long ago, their way to stay in contact.
A humble and wise woman who's constructing a labyrinth
and talks with the local mad man about future as
if it'd be the most normal thing to do. What can
a woman like Lee, who only believes in what she
sees, who's lost in her pain, do with this kind
of woman? Listen, learn, heal, accept the nasty
things of life and go on.
Lee is the main character but, in my opinion, Gaëlle
is the light that enlightens her path, the clue
for her to heal. Having suffered herself and knowing
exactly what is to lose those who you love most,
Gaëlle will show Lee a new world full of second
chances, chances full of promises, only if she's
brave enough to face the worst of her fears again.
Walking the Labyrinth by Lois Cloarec Hart
is a fantastic story, a great surprise and exactly
what I'm looking for when I pick a book because
of its deep plot with characters that I understand,
in whom I can see myself and whose lives I live
through the pages. People full of love who walk
the long path of life with hope, cherishing its
gifts and suffering when one of these gifts is taken
Sometimes, not very often, an excellent book like
this comes to your hands and you just can enjoy
it fully. I've read that Lois Cloarec Hart isn't
a prolific author but if her others books are like
this one, it's worth waiting.
|Affinity Reviews by
Terry - August 2013
Co-owner of a private security company, Lee Glenn,
is grieving for her wife Dana. She can't see any
end to her suffering. Her life is over, just as
surely as Dana's is. A year later and Lee is still
locked away from her family, friends and colleagues,
hiding out in her basement rooms. Lee's family and
friends intervene with a message from beyond the
grave, giving Lee the shake up she needed.
Lee is back at work and beginning to turn her life
around. She isn't convinced she can just pick up
her life again and carry on. But Lee's business
partner, Willem, knows different.
At Willem's urging, Lee takes on a private protection
job, which takes her away from the memories of her
loss, to the beginning of a new life.
Lee meets many different people along the way.
Probably the strangest person she meets is Wrong-Way
Wally. A harmless, colorful oracle, who is shunned
by most of the small town because of his way out
speech and way of life. It appears the only person
who can understand and translate Wally's predictions
is Gaëlle, his life long best friend.
Gaëlle herself appears at first to Lee to
be strange. She seems to have a connection to the
afterlife. Although Lee pushes aside Gaëlle's
beliefs as hooey, is it possible there is some truth
Lee becomes attracted to Gaëlle, but will
she allow herself to open up to the possibility
of love again? What if loving again should cause
even more pain? Will Lee have the courage to stay
for the course and find out? Or will she run back
home to her safe, but lonely, miserable existence?
I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully written story.
I liked that the two main characters, Lee and Gaëlle,
are multidimensional, mature in age and there is
an actual story here as well as a romance. Once
I began the story, there was no putting it down.
The book is a page turner from start to finish.
Lee and Gaëlle are backed up with some unforgettable
characters throughout. All playing their parts to
perfection to progress the story forward.
There are a lot of emotions running high throughout.
Highs and lows of love and love lost and prejudices.
But amongst all the emotions, there is hope, a light
at the end of the tunnel, the end of anguish and
loneliness. That's if Lee will allow herself to
be open to the possibility and taking a chance of
loving a second time, if it's offered. It's this
journey that makes the book into the exciting and
enjoyable story it is.
I can't say my beliefs are those of Gaëlle
and Wally, but it made for very interesting reading
and added an enjoyable aspect to the book.
I've added Lois Cloarec Hart to my list of authors
to watch out for. I like her style of writing and
look forward to more soon.
When I was sent a copy of Walking the Labyrinth,
put out by Ylva Publishing, I was very intrigued
by the description. I'll share it here for you.
there life after loss? Lee Glenn, co-owner
of a private security company, didn't think
so. Crushed by grief after the death of her
wife, she uncharacteristically retreats from
love doesn't give up easily. After her friends
and family stage a dramatic intervention,
Lee rejoins the world of the living, resolved
to regain some sense of normalcy but only
half-believing that it's possible. Her old
friend and business partner convinces her
to take on what appears on the surface to
be a minor personal protection detail.
assignment takes her far from home, from the
darkness of her loss to the dawning of a life
reborn. Along the way, Lee encounters people
unlike any she's ever met before: Wrong-Way
Wally, a small-town oracle shunned by the
locals for his off-putting speech and mannerisms;
and Wally's best friend, Gaëlle, a woman
who not only translates the oracle's uncanny
predictions, but who also appears to have
a deep personal connection to life beyond
life. Lee is shocked to find herself fascinated
by Gaëlle, despite dismissing the woman's
exotic beliefs as "hooey."
opening yourself to love also means opening
yourself to the possibility of pain. Will
Lee have the courage to follow that path,
a path that once led to the greatest agony
she'd ever experienced? Or will she run back
to the cold comfort of a safer solitary life?
That really does sum up the book pretty well. There
were a few things that made me want to read this
book. The main characters were older, Lee had experienced
the type of loss that scares the crap out of me,
and there's some mysticism mixed in there, too.
And, overall, I wasn't disappointed. The first half
or so of the book is dealing the the assignment
that takes Lee away from home and gives her and
Gaëlle the opportunity to develop their friendship.
The second half of the book was, for me, much more
engaging and interesting. Although, I do admit to
shedding a few tears in the first chapter.
There were a couple of things that pulled me out
of the story a bit but they're probably not things
that most people will care about. I'm pretty picky
about dialogue and some of the conversations felt
more scripted than natural. They still allowed me
to connect with and learn about the characters so,
again, it's likely not to be a big deal to anyone
other than folks who focus strongly on conversational
exchanges. The only other thing I want to mention
that bothered me is that the group of characters
that are in their very early 30?s seemed to be closer
to 16 in their actions and speech. At first I thought
it was just one character but then there was a whole
group of them and they all seemed to have the mentality
and emotional responses of teenagers. It just didn't
ring true to me. But, again, that's in the first
half of the book and I quickly forgot about them
once they were gone.
Overall, I liked the book and think that lovers
of romance novels - particularly folks looking for
older protagonists and/or mysticism - will enjoy