By Ellis Nelson
Rea Nolan Martin is an award-winning author of visionary fiction novels. She has also written numerous short stories and poetry published in national literary magazines and anthologies. Her inspirational blogs have been published in HUFFPOST and SIVANA EAST. It is my pleasure to introduce you to two of Ms. Martin’s novels.
One of the things I love most about this author’s works is that they are fully grounded in our everyday reality. In the first book I’ll talk about, the protagonist is an average housewife living a typically modern-day American life until it all starts to change. In the second book, we encounter four women facing illness and the turmoil and hard questions posed whenever we face crisis. Both are simple premises for a deep dive into the evolution of consciousness-the world of visionary fiction.
The Sublime Transformation of Vera Wright
What if your neighbor was a saint? This was the question Rea Nolan Martin asked herself in creating this masterpiece of visionary fiction. Her main character, Vera Wright, qualifies for the senior discount, but is still working as a beautician. She has a grown daughter and a teddy bear of a husband, living a normal life. Then one day, her parish priest asks the congregation to invite God into their lives. Vera does and that’s when everything starts to change.
I was fully caught up in Vera’s reluctant spiritual journey. More than once I wondered how I’d react if some of the things that Vera experienced happened to me. Remember in the stories of saints, the path to enlightenment is not an easy one. Vera is continuously challenged on her road to God. Unexpected twists and turns occur. Vera navigates some of them beautifully and some not. She is after all, human. Vera’s job is to awaken to her inner divinity and that awakening has her question the role of the feminine in Catholicism.
With the interjection of copious amounts of humor, Vera’s transformation flows smoothly and believably. Vera is the saint next door and we are no longer free to relegate holiness to something from the past. Might we not come across a saint in our own lives? Who is that waiting on us at the Post Office? What about the old man feeding ducks at the pond? The child reaching for a cookie? This book is a mind-opening adventure. Don’t miss it!
The Anesthesia Game
Teenager, Sydney, has a fatal disease that her mother, Mitsy, won’t name. Mitsy increasingly relies on Pandora, a spiritual advisor to meet the daily challenges of dealing with the illness. Pandora is a likable mystic but fraught with her own personal problems and hang-ups. As the situation grows ever more serious, Aunt Hannah steps in. Sydney is doing her best and has devised a practical way of trying to get through the treatments. She plays the anesthesia game- a game that teaches you to be awake even when you’re not.
This book has garnered many positive reviews highlighting the author’s skill with characterization, pacing, and the way tense moments are flavored with gentle humor. And I totally agree. Rea Nolan Martin has successfully woven a story around four women facing crisis. We are drawn in and caught up in their lives. Most of us will have faced some part of this story either in our own lives or in the lives of a loved one. The prose here is powerful and moving.
What I want to highlight is that this is a masterful work in the emerging genre of visionary fiction. And here the author shows her talent best. She asks us to search deeply and think about healing. How much do we rely on medical professionals? How much power do we have over our own healing? On the healing of others? The writing is so compelling that I know the author has experienced these questions and wrestled with them in her own life. She is drawing from what she “knows”. Those who follow science will also feel a resonance to the ideas of the zero-point field. Others will gravitate to the language of interconnectedness. Either way, we are called to reexamine our place on earth and in the cosmos. Few authors can take on these themes and make them accessible. This author can. Grab this one!
THE ANESTHESIA GAME garnered five star medallions from both Readers’ Favorite and Clarion/Foreword, as well as the 2016 IPPY gold medallion for Visionary Fiction. Most recently, THE ANESTHESIA GAME was honored as an award-winning finalist in the 2017 International Book Awards.
Ellis Nelson has served as an Air Force officer, government contractor, and teacher. She writes for children and young adults largely under the newly emerging category of visionary fiction. Having returned from living abroad in Europe, she now calls Colorado home. Visit Ellis at:https://ellisnelson.com/