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Near-death experience battles near-death life-style choices

  • May 8, 2012
If Déjà vu is a feeling of having seen something before, then what is Jamais vu? Author Monique O’Connor James plays with the idea very effectively in this novel of life after a near-death experience. After rushing towards the light, Darby Lambert awakes hearing voices in the ambulance, struggles through a hospital stay and recovery, and tries to pick up her life. But she can’t remember the day of the accident, doesn’t know why it happened, and, most importantly, doesn’t know why she’s survived.
First person writing gives a pleasing sense of immediacy to this tale, creating the character of Darby very effectively. A good sense of timing moves the story quickly towards Darby picking up the threads of her new life while haunting dreams pull her down. It took a while for me to realize how long these dreams had been going on, and quite how scary they were. But soon the reader’s on a roller-coaster ride as Darby tries to save lives only to find friends refusing to listen and a cruel inevitability meeting her at each turn. Meanwhile monsters chase her.
Searching for someone who’ll just listen and believe her, Darby wanders from nurse to psychiatrist to friend, building new relationships then watching them fall apart from lack of trust. Perhaps it’s the story of her life. Perhaps it’s the story of her life before—if only she could remember, before what.
The writing is smooth, consistent, and very evocative. The plot is truly different. The mystery is involving. And the denouement will leave you wondering in a pleasing sort of way. I was almost disappointed to realize there’s a sequel—the story felt satisfyingly, if confusingly complete. But I’ll probably look out for Déjà vu one day since I enjoyed this novel so much.
Disclosure:I received a free ecopy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review. I’m only sorry it took me so long to get around to reading it.

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September 07, 2013
Thanks for sharing.
About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth ()
Ranked #42
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
About this product


Monique is the mother of two beautiful children and lives in a small community outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She currently works full time as an insurance agent, but her favorite jobs are mother, wife, and author. On her ninth birthday, her mother bought her a journal and said "write whatever you want, just write". And so, a love affair with words was born. She wrote poetry and short stories in high school and college, until 1993 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. After her mother's death in 1998, deep in depression, she found herself unable to write. Nine years passed, and only on rare occasion did she attempt to write. Finally, in 2007, under the urging of friends, she sat down and pecked out her first novel. It was raw and unpolished, but the process had been unquestionably cathartic. The next three years were spent filling her hard drive with seven complete manuscripts. At the beginning of 2011, Monique decided it was time to edit the work and share it with the world. She hopes you enjoy the ramblings of a truly southern girl raised in a state rich with heritage and love.
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