NO FURY LIKE THAT: LISA DE NIKOLITS
When was the last time you looked deep inside yourself and saw the real person that hides behind your countenance? Recognizing the real you is not what everyone admits to seeing. Instead, you see the person that you want others to think you are even if it’s someone that is not what hidden deep within the depths of your soul because you are afraid to show the world that there is more to you than your face, clothes, wealth, position in life and superficial accessories. Julia Redner is beautiful, merciless in her critiques of others, unfeeling, rude at times and altogether self-absorbed, overrates her worth and thinks the world and others need to bow to her every wish until! Until she wakes up in another realm or world one that will alter her perspective of others, herself and life until the final realization or her final destination is revealed. You see, she’ dead or at least it appears to be that she is dead and wakes up in an airport that is not anything noteworthy but alone with a group of people that she does not know or care to know standing around. At first she seems to be trying to free herself of the makeshift bonds that she feels are holding down her arms and legs but then thinks this is just a bad dream. Why if she is big in the business world would she be wearing her unacceptable couch potato gear and have bare feet. But, when looking down carefully at her toes and her feet she realizes or says the feet belong to someone else and her toes are in total disrepair and need a desperate pedicure. Purgatory is one big maze with unmarked places yet each there are restrooms that allow you to sleep for four hours and then finding yourself somewhere else. You can bowl, knit, exercise, a special café with great choices of food, an room for showers not the conventional kind, no phones, internet, television or computers to the outside world. This place has no labels on the doors and getting lost is not hard but what Julia learns as she meets those that are here with her will change her own view of herself, teach others that the events that precluded their deaths might not have been entirely their fault and teach six people to face head on the unabashed and unedited truths about their deaths and the end result to their loved ones. Everyone is the same and some have privileges that others would love to have themselves. No one is better than the next although Julia reminds everyone that she is not the nicest person in the world and that when she reflects back on something she did in her past she realizes that there’s a young child whose life might have been better if she did not discard her like an old dress that was outdated. Imagine being dead and having therapy sessions to talk about your past and what led you to possibly being dead and having to face the harsh realities of what might happen next. Some died of overdoses, some suicides and Julia’s death not yet revealed. But, something happens along the way and the six, Isabelle, Agnes, Grace, Samir, Julia and Fat Tracy become a team and support each other as they venture through their various journeys hoping to finally move on to the next phase of eternity. Julia is self-centered but the transformation comes without her even knowing it as her helper Cedar Mountain Eagle and Uber-dyke Beatrice the regulator, help her realize that she just might have a chance to go back but will it happen? Junior is Julia’s ex-lover and the CEO of the company that she was brutally fired from after 17 years. She is escorted out and left without anything as she thinks that he had a hand in her firing and never ever warned her. Revenge is the name of her game and she does it big time by posting an embarrassing photo of him which. of course goes viral and then takes him down quite a few pegs. Junior is not going to take this lightly and what he does is serious causing her to fall into a coma. What he does you have to learn for yourself and it’s in this destroyed state that she awakens in Purgatory. As in life in death there are choices to make. If you were Julia would you decide to remain forever in Purgatory or would you opt to go back and face your demons: Junior and deal with what he did to you that got you here and would you help Emma, your niece who lost her parents in a car accident and you tossed her aside and sent her to foster care? I love the coffee groups, the helpful insights that they each give those present, the hope that they will come to reconcile what happened to them and those they get to see in their viewings and the end will face the unmarked truths about lies, betrayals and deceits that they were a party to as well as others. Money, greed, control, power, perfection, appearance, resentment for her sister who shined in her aunt’s face and she was like an invisible doll without the proper clothes to make a child even want to play with her, Julia comes to realize that there is more to life then online shopping, being ogled for her beauty and putting down others. When one of the crew or group has a viewing the husband shown is a drug addict, her children might be subjected to his moods as a result and the end result is the shocking reveal that one of the girls might still be alive if he had not beaten up her drug dealer before she choked to death. Take the most powerful microscope and put yourself under it and what do you see? Take a good look and find out what the world sees beneath your outer appearance and find out if this is the final image you want buried along with you?
Julia gets to view what really happened to her when Cedar gives her his a special viewing that enlightens her to what Junior did to her the first time and then what landed her seriously injured the second time. Whose fault was it? Was she to blame for his rage with the photo she sent to his co-workers that went viral? Was he to blame for trying to kill her once and then having two others plus himself complete the job the second time? Julia and the rest of the crew have a choice to make: Do we go back to Earth? If they do are they like the characters in Dead Like Me someone else in appearance and yet themselves inside? What are their final decisions as Julia has to make a choice, Isabelle and the rest wrestle with it but some might choose to find out what happens the second time around. But who?
When Julia asks to go back along with two others her journey takes on an unusual turn as she decides to become a one woman vigilante hoping to vindicate the deaths of those she leaves behind and yet not realizing how that might affect the one person she has finally united with.
The ending is startling and what Julia does is outside the realm of law but will anyone stop her and when all is said and done you won’t believe the surprise ending that author Lisa De Nikolits created that will leave you asking these questions: Justice how would you define it? Julia guilty or innocent? Choices are made, destinations finalized: Who remains in purgatory? Who moves on? Who gets one more chance? Who finds out the true meaning of Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Josh, Richard, Junior, an unpunished killer, Mr. Healey, and anyone else that crossed the Samir, Isabelle, Julia, Agnes, Grace, Fat Tracy and those to come nothing is as powerful as friendship, loyalty, trust and an unbreakable bond formed in a place between heaven and hell : Purgatory! Julia learns why material things, vanity, money and power over others is nothing compared to unconditional love. Julia: Look in the mirror: Whom do you see?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine