Literature: Book Review: 'Beyond the Clouds' a personal journey of self-discovery

(Beyond the Clouds by K. M. Swan, K. M. Swan Books, 170 pages, $12)

K. M. Swan brings us another story of the triumph of the human spirit over formidable circumstances. With the recent tragic case of Terry Schiavo so widely publicized in the news, the fictional story seems particularly poignant now.

Christine Chapman is a young wife and schoolteacher who seems to have the perfect life until an auto accident throws her world into limbo. Trapped in the grip of a months-long coma, she struggles to fight her way through the “clouds” of confusion and despair. While gradually becoming aware of others’ ministrations to her, she realizes her complete helplessness and dependence on others.

Meanwhile, her faithful husband, Rick, and her mother try to adjust their own lives to the changed circumstances while continuing to visit Christine, hoping that somehow she will hear and eventually respond to them.

K. M. Swan takes us on a personal journey of self-discovery as the drama unfolds. We see the situation from Christine’s perspective, as well as those of her loved ones who, meanwhile, must try to bring some sense of order to their lives and make personal adjustments—to the situation and each other.

In this fast-paced inspirational story, we see how people’s priorities change as they decide what is most important to them. As healing comes, slowly but surely, the characters find inner strength and bonds of family love to sustain them. We also see how they deal with difficult decisions, and in the aftermath of the crisis, chart new paths for their lives.

The book is available from K. M. Swan Books, P.O. Box 8673, Rockford, IL 61126.

From the June 22-28, 2005, issue

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