The Tunnel Betwixt… FREE ON SMASHWORDS UNTIL APRIL 8, 2014
By: Ingrid Hall
“I am Julia, wife of Simon, daughter of Isabella and soon to be mother of Jonathon…”
First person narrative has been used in many great literary works over the years, such as Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Camus' The Stranger, Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, and perhaps the most famous of them all, Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick (originally published as The Whale in 1851).
In Moby Dick, the first person narrative was done by Ishmael, the only person to survive death to tell the story. This brings us to the books of Ingrid Hall, whose first person narrative comes from beyond the realm of the living. Originally we had Granny Irene’s Guide to the Afterlife Revenge Part 1 which is currently out of print, but now we have Ingrid Hall’s compelling novella, The Tunnel Betwixt…
The story consists of the recently deceased Julia telling her tale first-hand. Julia was a victim of a cell phone distracted motorist and finds herself in the tunnel moving towards the light, so often spoken about by those who have died and came back to tell of it. This phenomenon is called a Near Death Experience or NDE. Julia described the tunnel as dark yet warm. But it doesn’t end with this simple explanation. Through Julia, Ingrid crafts a unique experience for the reader. Her use of words in the first person makes one feel as if they are with Julia in the tunnel, seeing what she sees and feeling what she feels. Ingrid is a master craftsmen (so to speak) at building intimate details as an artist would paint a masterpiece.
Within the tunnel between life and the afterlife, Julia is helped along the way by a cast of characters from her life. She experiences childhood again and being in the home of her beloved Aunt Veronica where she recaptures her time with her baby brother, Michael. Her maid, Tina is ever at her side, although she transforms from maid to mermaid, with a long fishy tail and fiery red hair. She is Coventina and she tells Julia that the “tunnel betwixt the worlds is not a place to be lingering in.”
Most importantly, there is the appearance of Julia’s “spirit child”, who is her future son. He is also there to help her along her passage.
There is another character who seems to always be present to her, along the journey as well. Julia calls him her Reluctant Lucifer. He represents the man who in Julia own words, “in a ridiculously selfish act of indifference mowed me down. The man whose destiny merged with mine the second his BMW tore like a shiny bullet into my unsuspecting yet compliant flesh”.
Now the saddest part of Julia’s story is that she is well aware that she was ripped from the land of the living and has left her poor husband to mourn her. Her husband, Simon is never out of her thoughts the whole time she is in the tunnel. He is the love of her life. Julia utters in desperation, “That although he cannot reach me right now, I still exist.”
These thoughts of Simon culminate in Chapter 8 when she relives her honeymoon in splendid, erotic detail. Now being a red blooded, American male, myself, this was by far, my favorite chapter. Ingrid has plans to release a paranormal erotic romance under the name LUNA BALLANTYNE called The Witch, the Virgin and the Highwayman. She hopes to have it published sometime in 2015. Seeing the way she writes with such wonderful detail, I for one will be captivated by this book, just as I was in Chapter 8 of The Tunnel Betwixt…
Ingrid even hints at my own genre of time travel as Julia witnesses the Roman Empire. Here is a sample in Ingrid’s words through Julia:
“For it is not every day that a girl gets to witness history in motion. It is not every day that one gets to breach the perimeters and step beyond the text books and even the ubiquitous world wide web and back in time and catch a glimpse, a fleeting snapshot of a pivotal, transformational, iconic moment as it unfolds bit by glorious bit struggling to reconcile the past with the present and most importantly the future.”
There is a lot more to this story that my limited words cannot express. I don’t possess Ingrid’s talent, the way she does. But I hope I have given a glimpse into the worlds that Ingrid creates. She is unique among us writers and I am pleased to have met her.
As well as The Tunnel Betwixt… Ingrid Hall is also the author of Granny Irene’s Guide to the Afterlife Revenge Part 1. A dark and at times hilarious peek at the afterlife through the eyes and lips of a little old Geordie Granny! (NOTE: Currently out of print)
Ingrid lives near Newcastle Upon Tyne close to the Scottish Borders with her husband and two children. She is currently working on her first paranormal erotic romance under the name LUNA BALLANTYNE which she hopes will be published sometime at the beginning of 2015. As well as fronting indie and proud, a campaign aimed at connecting readers to some of the most diverse international indie voices around right now, Ingrid also offers a competitive ghost blogging service to anyone in need of a blog!
The Tunnel Betwixt… is based upon a Near Death Experience that the author had when a routine operation in her mid-twenties went badly wrong. She clearly remembers entering the tunnel and meeting a spirit child. In spite of having fertility issues her son was born within around a year of her operation. That though, is where all similarities end…
REVIEW BY DENNIS HIGGINS – AUTHOR OF THE TIME PILGRIM SERIES
You can find Dennis Higgins at: http://www.timepilgrims.com/