Sunday 12 May 2019

Tortured Soul - Theresa Linden

Tortured Soul
Theresa Linden
Silver Fire Publishing

ISBN 9780997674774

This book is a hard book to review. My first reaction was: Wow! What a moving read. This is a fiction story but based on a real story. It is very well written. It has changed my prayer life. It is an excellent read. I spent over a week thinking on this book, and then reread it a second time, and it was even more impactful the second time through. The author states that this supernatural thriller is loosely based on the apparitions to Eugenie von der Leyen (1867-1929). But has been moved to a modern North American setting.

As a fan of Linden’s other works, I must state this is drastically different than anything else she has written. I have enjoyed her other works, both speculative fiction, young adult fiction and even her other adult fiction offering. But this is the first of her books to really get me praying and reading on a topic, and that topic is purgatory. After finding out about this novel I checked my list of books I have read and did not find any specific to the topic of purgatory. So I picked up and read Purgatory: A Mystery of Love by Donncha Ó hAodha from CTS Deeper Christianity, which I already had on hand. I recall reading several excepts, selections and even chapters in course notes during my religious study degree but had not really delved into the subject.  I never really doubted or questions it, but also had no specific interest in it either. That has all changed with this novel.

This story is at times dark, and a little frightening. Especially if you believe in the possibility of purgatory and possible visitors from there. Throughout church history there have been numerous mystics and saints who have had visitors. There are stories of burned pages in books, and specific encounters. This story combines elements from many of the most common themes across those appearances. 

Jeannie Lyons has an emptiness she cannot fill. She still lives in her family home, with her brother and his family. Both her parents are deceased. He father was murdered by a stray bullet before her eye’s years earlier. And she has a strong attachment to the home and the memories of her parents. But her brother has given her a timeline and forces her to move out. She ends up in a house he picks on the outskirts of town. Once there she does not feel like she is alone. She has conflict with both her brother and her sister about what is going on. He brothers’ friend a photographer named Oliver is the only one who believes her. Not even the parish priest wants to consider a supernatural explanation without eliminating all other possibilities. So Jeanie is left to face her past, her inner demons, and possibly visitors from beyond the grave, because she has no where to turn.

While reading this book it reminded me of reading books by Frank E. Peretti many years ago. It stirred me to prayer in a new way. It has caused me to purgatory, and to want to learn more about the official teaching on this topic. The book inspired me to start praying for a deceased love one who I was estranged from, and even have a mass offered for them. This is a fictional story of real events, and it is a powerful tale, expertly written.

A great book that I could hardly put down, but even more importantly a fictional story that drove me to greater prayer.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Theresa Linden:
Tortured Soul

Chasing Liberty Series:
01 Chasing Liberty
02 Testing Liberty
03 Fight For Liberty
Bound to find Freedom - Short Story


West brothers Series:
Roland West Loner
Life-Changing Love
Battle for His Soul

Standing Strong
Roland West Outcast
Fire Starters

Armour of God Series:
Belt of Truth
Breastplate of Righteousness
Boot of Peace
Shield of Faith
Helmet of Salvation
Sword of the Spirit

Armor of God Series Second Edition:

Other Books:
A Symbol of Hope - Short Story
A Battle for the Faith (with John Paul Wohlscheid)


Books contributed to:
Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books
Gifts Visible & Invisible 8 Christmas Stories for Teens
Treasures: Visible & Invisible 8 Stories for Teens

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