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A Powerful Read

Julie Elizabeth Powell

In Gone, author Julie Elizabeth Powell draws us into Avalon, an afterlife she sees in her mind’s eye. Filled with wonder, majesty, and colourful images, it starts us thinking about some burning questions we might have regarding life, death, and even sanity.

Her main character, Charlie, is whisked away to this fantasy world after she has a heart attack in her office. Like her, we wonder if she is dreaming, insane, or experiencing a new reality. Through it all, it’s hard not to bond with Charlie, who is warm, compassionate, with has a sense of humour (I loved the chocolate-craving references), and has suffered greatly because her daughter, Jenny, has been in a coma for years. Her joy at seeing Jenny grown up and thriving in Avalon is touching.

We meet several interesting characters as we explore the new world with Charlie. Fun and Games are just two, which brought a whimsical element into this well-written story.

Optimism and hope rise to the surface in this book, even though its subject matter—death—is heavy.

Kudos to the author

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