After an accident in Rome, photojournalist Josh Ryder begins experiencing flashes of past memories¯from another life, another era. As these flashes intensify, he's drawn back to the time of ancient Rome, Vestal Virgins and the mysterious Memory Stones. Through the eyes of Julius, he is reunited with a powerful love for Sabina, the Vestal Virgin he has sworn to protect and would willingly die for, a woman whom would be buried alive if their secret love were ever discovered.
In present day Rome, Josh assists at the Phoenix Foundation, an organization that explores and researches claims of reincarnation or incidences of memory flashes, especially in children. Led by impulse, he finds himself at the edge of a freshly unearthed tomb and witnesses a murder.
His search for answers, for the Memory Stones stolen from the tomb of the Vestal Virgin Sabina, for the truth about what happened in ancient Rome, leads him to two women¯Professor Gabriella Chase and Rachel Palmer, a young woman who is haunted by her own past life memories.
Is either of these women the Sabina he once knew? And will Josh ever reconcile his past with his present? These are just some of the questions I found myself asking along the way. I found the premise of this novel intriguing. I couldn't put the book down once I started it.
Author M.J. Rose tells a compelling story that weaves history and religion into a fateful adventure filled with intrigue, romance, murder and deception. Her writing is detailed but not overloaded, just the right mix of fact and fiction to make me a believer and her characters are ones I'll remember for a long time. The flashes of past and present are so seamlessly woven yet clearly defined, that I was never jolted from the story, but swept along and taken on a ride that left me breathless by the end.
I highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in the theory of reincarnation or anyone who enjoys a suspenseful, thrilling journey to the past. It would also make an exceptional read for a book club.
The Reincarnationist is the inspiration for a new television series that will be airing soon. I can't wait to watch Past Life. If it is anything like M.J. Rose's novel, it is going to be an adventure of a lifetime.
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of The River