What else is there to be revealed when the past, present, and future collide? All in one book is a mysterious, spiritual, and dramatic compilation of experiences mainly by the Armstrongs and Banks family who start the quest of discovering and fighting a new breed of cats, storms, and grieving since Ricky’s mother, the sister of Colleen Armstrong succumbed to death after giving birth. Divided into two parts, Donna Eimer Villani’s The Portal introduces many life lessons to reflect upon. Losses after losses and gains afterward, each character in the book has spirited responses to the problems they have encountered.
Reconciliation between family members and the formation of new love begins in Driftwood,
where hopes and questions for a fast-paced turn of life events unfold. Traumatic experiences by Colleen, Geoff, Ricky, and all the other supporting characters dramatically present heart- warming lessons for readers who have a hard time recovering. Colleen’s questions regarding her roots and the mystery of blue light, and her search for the compost, will surely keep the readers craving more. The discussion on innovation and the changing needs of their communities reflects empowerment over struggles, which can also be relatable.
With all the metaphorical yet easy-to-understand throwing of lines between characters, Villani captivates an all-around kind of feeling in every chapter. The speedy loss of a loved one and the hard times during the grieving process are all beautifully written with the choice of words that directly thumps the reader’s emotions.
Villani’s discussion of traumas, recovery, innovation, and the visionary approach to the uncertainties of the future makes the book appealing to those who want to be moved by the realities of life and society. Although fictional, The Portal can affect personal perspectives regarding belief in the Almighty’s existence and the faith to make things better through discovery and togetherness with family members. To say that this is worth a read is an understatement of how good the book is.
– The Moving Words Review
Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 2, 2023
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