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Reviewed by Lorelai Rivers for Readers' Favorite
Recognitions by Daniela I. Norris centers on Amelia, who, under hypnosis and in dreams, sometimes encounters an intelligent French girl on the verge of choosing a future husband and sometimes an African shaman trying to save his village from sickness and slavery. As she struggles to understand her connection to these two people, her everyday relationships carry on with an ex-husband and two teenage children. When a man from her past comes into the picture and introduces her to fencing, the connections begin to click. I say "begin," because this first book of a trilogy leaves many questions open.
I have a sense that whatever any reader thinks is going on with past lives or collective consciousness, or the "something" the characters wonder about in Recognitions, the full story of the trilogy is going to turn out rather differently than predicted -- but without the need for gimmicky plot twists. It is just that interesting, plus the tale is unfolding in the hands of a capable story-teller, which is clear from the very first chapter. Daniela I. Norris writes in clean, sparse prose, so she is able to paint the picture of three lives on three different continents with distinct voices for each without ever resorting to gratuitous description. As a result, the book moves at a fast pace, but without feeling rushed or empty. And even though I wanted to know how it would play out, I didn't skip a single word because every word was relevant in this engaging story.