What an amazing story! Vicki Renfro has penned an epic tale of transformation and spiritual enlightenment, masterfully guiding a group of souls through two eras with the ease of a Hollywood director. Soul Dancing With The Brass Band is a well written novel that captivates from the first page. It’s deep, thought provoking and soulful, but not as esoteric as Cloud Atlas or The Fountain. You’ll have no problem understanding the story or following each character’s path as you devour chapter after chapter.
There’s a rather large cast of players which could have ended up a muddled mess in the hands of a less skillful author but Ms. Renfro proves adept at providing clarity and purpose for each person’s role. I especially enjoyed the subtle change in voice between eras, adding to the definition of time periods without a glaring separation from the story.
The premise is interesting . . . Hillary Rubner is a young woman about to embark on a life-changing journey – college. Yet a series of coincidences/synchronicities unite her with a group of people who awaken a confusing sense of recognition. As the alternate world from 35 A.D. weaves a parallel path, we begin to see how the characters knew each other. The plot incorporates an intriguing theory of souls reincarnating as groups, travelling through various lifetimes in different roles but all connected by a universal goal or for the purpose of fulfilling karmic debt. Don’t let the implication of metaphysics deter you . . . this is a great, character driven story.
Soul Dancing With The Brass Band will appeal to readers of many genres including time travel, romance, young adult, fantasy, and women’s fiction. If you are a fan of The Celestine Prophecy, you’ll especially enjoy this book.
SOUL DANCING With The Brass Band
Themes: Metaphysical, Transformation, Reincarnation
Have you ever wondered if you have lived before?
Hillary, a farm girl from Kansas never gave it a second thought. She always believed her big adventure would be going away to college until she learned about a promise she made two thousand years ago.
NOV 17, 36 A.D.
“Come with me, dear one,” McCollum says. “I have something I’d like to show you.”
It’s very cold, so I wrap myself against the wind and mount my mare. We ride for hours before we reach our destination and when we do, it’s nothing but the remnants of a once thriving town. McCollum dismounts and looking up at me asks, “What do you see?”
I scan the area slowly and begin to speak. “The fields are barren, as if the crops failed. The people stayed as long as possible because they had built their lives here. Eventually with nothing to eat, they had to move on and now their homes sit before us in decay,” I explain from a knowing within me. “I feel the sorrow of the people who once occupied this village deep in my bones.”
“Come child. Let’s build a fire and I will tell you a story.” McCollum leads our horses into the remains of an old barn and begins gathering kindling. When the fire is lit, we both sit close to warm our hands.
Looking into my eyes, McCollum admits that I am correct in what I saw. It makes me wonder why we had to ride so far on such a bleak day. Placing more wood on the fire, he settles in.
“Let me tell you the story of the downfall of this settlement, so you will better understand. About ten years ago, a man walked into this thriving village and was welcomed as an additional set of hands to work the land. He was strong and as he helped plant the crops he also began to plant other seeds in the minds of the villagers. He talked of drought, famine, crop failure and starvation, and one by one these worries grew and festered in the farmers’ minds. Negativity slowly sucked the dreams of the future from their naive souls. Pride once held in the appearance of their homes soon faded because they were distracted by fear. And as the fear grew within them, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Their crops failed because the darkness of their vision caused them to make devastating decisions. Before long, brother argued with brother and neighbors began to doubt each other’s loyalty. You see, Hilsbeth, what happened here is just the reverse of what you saw. The downfall of this town began with the planting of a thought and when it took hold, there was no one in the village who was powerful enough to stop its manifestation.”
“What happened to the stranger?” I ask, afraid of the answer.
“There will always be darkness in our world that preys on the ignorance of mankind. It creates bigotry and hatred, infests the world with fear and drains the life force from individuals who don’t have the vision to see through it. I brought you here today, so you’ll realize how important it is to hold the light for the ones who are lost. We must never be seduced by the darkness, dear Hilsbeth, but learn to recognize it by the feeling it creates and the destruction left in its wake. We must always instill hope and stand on the side of love, peace, thoughtfulness… and hold a positive vision, because in time… I pray light will prevail.”
Nov 17, 2010
I heard Ruth’s key in the front door and watched her drop her purse and computer on the couch. “Hard day?” I asked, seeing her exhaustion.
“I think I just haven’t been getting enough sleep lately. I’m going to make a cup of tea, take a long hot bath and hit the sack,” she said as she headed for the kitchen.
I hear her mumble, “What the hell!” and I remembered the flowers I left in the sink. She came back into the living room holding the scrap of paper.
“Who’s Jackson Black?”
“He’s that guy I pointed out at The Commons the other day… scruffy guy… older.”
“Yeah, I remember, but what’s with the flowers?” she asked.
“He was outside the coffee shop, he knew my name and now he obviously has figured out where I live.”
“Is Creepy Guy stalking you?”
I thought hard for a minute before answering.
“It’s hard to explain. It’s like he reaches inside me and takes my joy, leaving me slimed with a dirty feeling. It’s not illegal, but it should be,” I explained.
“He sounds like my Uncle Marvin. He can suck the happiness out of a room just by walking into it. He loves talking about negative stuff. If it’s not a pandemic or forecasting the crash of world markets, it is the wrath of God. His family is always depressed.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
At thirty-five, I had it all. I owned a well appointed home with a swimming pool, had a career as an engineer and a dog. I remember quite clearly the day I realized I had achieved the American Dream. I had all of the material belongings I ever dreamed of and still had an empty place inside of me. I considered joining the Peace Corp, but decided instead to backpack around the world alone. I made wonderful friends, saw amazing places, but returned home a year later with the same hole in my soul. I’d made the mistake of looking outside of myself for what you can only find inside.
Soul Dancing with the Brass Band may be a work of fiction, but the magic and mysticism I talk about exists in everyday life for those who have the eyes to see it. The forces that propel my characters are very much alive in this world, and sometimes we can only comprehend the magnitude of what is happening around us through a story.
My journey led me to the mountains of Colorado where I live with my husband and my new dog.