“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled” – Plutarch
How many times in our lives have we sat across a loved one, a parent, a friend or a lover and tried desperately to guess what they were thinking, to know the things they weren’t telling us? Most people acknowledge that a super power they would prefer if they were given one, was the ability to hear other people’s thoughts. The newer modes of communication and technology may have nullified our quest to find out other’s secrets to a certain extent since now they themselves deliver it to us 24/7 but that pang still remains, of wanting to find out other’s hidden secrets.
Author Patty Lesser’s new novel ‘That Truthful Place’ delves into the supernatural arena once again, investigating the phenomenon of telepathy and telekinetic powers among a bunch of young teenagers. After Alex Mitchell falls into a mysterious coma on the night of his 13th birthday, nobody seems to know what caused it. Even his physician Dr. John Matthews is befuddled by it. And on the third day when he wakes up from his deep stupor, Alex realizes that he has been blessed with a special gift, of being able to hear other people’s thoughts. It turns out this is not an isolated case and a whole bunch of kids across North America have developed this gift after waking up from a 3 day coma. Honing their skills, these kids are soon able to communicate with each other and form a secret little society with their unique background and specialized skills. And while Doctor Matthews wants to find out the group’s secrets, the children want to find out who or what gave them this power and what it intends to do with them.
Patty Lesser has taken an interesting concept and an ever popular theme of telepathy and woven a fictional story around it, while also showing a bunch of young teenagers dealing with various issues. If you have read Patty’s books before, you will notice that she has in her possession a lovely prose that is put to good use especially in a more adult themed novel like Locker Rooms but here in That Truthful Place, which is about and possibly marketed towards young adults and teens, she writes in a different manner, she creates an environment befitting the protagonist’s age and skillfully captures the minds of her thirteen year old leads. And this is something that young children and teens will definitely appreciate, they will see that the narrative connects with them, and their hopes and fears, their problems, their angst and the beauty of their innocence has all been captured very well by the author.
Going against the tradition found in books of such genre, ‘That Truthful Place’ presents ten children as part of its main cast instead of a solitary lead. But this huge cast doesn’t go to waste as each one has been given a unique background and specialty of a skill. And since they are all bound by the powers of telepathy they are able to communicate with each other even when remaining in different parts of the country. Kat with her leadership qualities and superior powers along with Alex who is one of the central characters in the book gets some of the more important scenes in the book. There’s also a cliff-hanger towards the end with the introduction of a group of people who are shown as the ones responsible for giving the children these gifts. And with Dr. Matthews losing the battle in tracking the children and their gifts for now, things should get really interesting in the second part of this story as we explore this thread further.
With a liberal dose of friendship, young love, loyalty & courage, this book should easily appeal to youngsters and those who are young at heart.
Paperback: 148 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (October 17, 2014)