Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
Young Piper Turchino has an imaginary friend who visits regularly and comforts her throughout her life in Piper, Once and Again by Caroline E. Zani. This unnerves Piper’s mother to the point that medical and psychiatric help is sought and even a priest is consulted. This friend, Vander, informs Piper that he has to go, but will always love her as he has through several lifetimes. All Piper has to do is learn the lessons this life has to offer. Piper moves on with her life, always feeling a bit different. She experiences ‘scent aches’ that seem to come with memories that she just can’t quite put a finger on, like the remnants of a dream as you wake up. These feelings leave Piper wondering what she is missing. Finally falling in love, Piper marries Paul and they enjoy a comfortable life of friendship and love, dedicated to their horses and farm. A trip to France brings on stronger ‘memories’ for Piper, though, and changes the relationship. Visiting a therapist sheds new light on Piper’s situation and she may finally get some answers for the questions that have haunted her since childhood.
Throughout the book, the present-day Piper is mirrored by Piper from the mid -19th century and their stories intertwine, hence the significance of the book’s title, Piper, Once and Again. In this time frame, the original Piper and Vander grow up, marry, have children and begin a successful perfume business in France. Their lives, although appearing to be perfect, are also crossed with heartache and tragedy. How much is Piper’s modern life directed by the feelings and actions of the Piper from the past?
Heartwarming, heartbreaking, nostalgic and deeply moving, Piper, Once and Again is a book that will touch your heart and soul. Caroline E. Zani probes the depths of human emotions and boldly faces the likelihood of people having past lives that may or may not impact their present and future. Fantastic descriptions make both time frames come alive and the characters are perfect in their imperfections – the very aspects that make us human. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great romance story, especially one that is not bound by time and place – just by the depth of the love the partners share.