A light on Altered Land
A chance encounter can sometimes blossom into more that two people might expect. A simple glance, a hand movement or just a smile can alter your life and your way of embracing the world and your future. Elle Belmont and Kathryn Kepler meet in a Minneapolis Starbucks and their entire worlds will never be the same. Elle lost her life partner, Mary and Kathryn was blindsided when she came home one night and found her husband had moved out. Thinking that it was just a crisis never realizing he had an affair. Relationships take time, effort, work, Elle, and Kathryn, Kathryn would have to develop a different mind set about this one.
Slow and easy they begin to explore each other’s wants, needs and goals. Kathryn teaches Elle about style, hair and both do not wear cosmetics. The narrative takes off at a slow pace but when Elle invites Kathryn to take a road trip to her niece’s marijuana farm events take on a difficult turn and their lives will either blend and mesh or break apart. Meeting her niece and her family at the fame to score some illegal cannabis oil for a friend with Lyme disease, sets them on a dangerous path when they relate the event to her daughter Jenn and her family. Jenn needs to feel accepted, and dislikes that relationship her mother has formed with a woman. Added in is her husband Paul’s take on what they are bringing back and the legal aspects if they get caught.
The road to happiness is never smoothly paved and within this novel the author shares through both characters, their losses, their insecurities, their hopes, dreams and their desire to be accepted and loved by each other and their friends or family. Life is not perfect but both Elle and Kathryn share their pasts, endure changes within themselves until they realize where this was going.
Kathryn is a clinical nurse practitioner before she retired with a specialty in Psychiatric Nursing. She could see patients and prescribe drugs. The author shares through Kathryn that there was shortage of nurse practitioners and hardly a week went by where she was not contacted to help someone. Her skills and her treatment of people in dire need will endear you later in the novel.
Elle shares that Sandy and Kris were her support group when losing Mary. Kathryn has a friend named Judith. Each were helped in a unique way. But, when they decide to take the road trip the scene that really touched my heart was the one where they stopped to help a young teen that was cast out by his family for being gay. When Kathryn makes a phone call and convinces Shawn to take the UBER ride to a place of safety you just must smile and yet it was a special and heartbreaking scene. The next scene happens as there is a tragic accident with a life lost, many hurt and both Elle and Kathryn stop to see if they can help. But its’ Kathryn’s quick-thinking skills and the fact that she had worked in an ER that saves a life and endears her to the officer in charge. When questioned and told to remain at the scene, Elle must admit what she is carrying in her car and reveals the fact that there if cannabis oil and other substances that could get them arrested. What follows renews your faith in law enforcement and the fact that Kathryn listens to the officer and she helps him through a challenging time, brings a special kind of warmth to your heart and what follows is more encouraging when Elle receives a special gift from the car repair shop that repaired her Lexus.
There are many scenes where we learn about both women and their hopes, dreams and fears come out. When Elle is left to drive by herself after the accident she blames herself for bringing Kathryn to the farm not realizing everything would be okay.
When Elle goes with Kathryn to meet her family you can feel the tension, even though she tries to get to know both Jenn and Paul. Jenn cannot accept this relationship, nor does she praise what her mother did before she retired. The grandchildren are precious but even though Elle asks about everyone no one thought to ask about them.
Author Becky Bohan creates scenes fill with drama, tension and despair followed by changes in both women about their lives, themselves and where they each see the future. Each one must decide how to deal with their losses. Mary’s clothes had been their all the time would Elle let them go? A story of hope, acceptance, desertion, unhappiness, futures, lifestyles and learning the true meaning of new love.
As Elle beautifully states: We’ve been given a beautiful gift of love: EACH OTHER !
A story about love, honesty, home funerals, lost loves, integrity, hope and most of all dealing with blame, anger and allowing the present to take away some of the pain of the past.
A heartfelt story that brings to light those relationships change and life can be much brighter in with a Light in an Altered Land. Altered means changed, different and the world as some know in the past just might be brighter if you look at it differently in the present
Fran Lewis: Just reviews