“A person is like a candle,” he said.
“The wick is the body, the flame is the soul, bringing light into the world.”
A tale of love, loss and life after death, Out of the Darkness is.the debut novel from Katy Hogan. First published in 2015 by Illumine Publishing, I was very lucky to receive my copy from the author in the past few weeks.
This is a very special book with a very special message about dealing with grief….what you interpret and take from it will be a very personal experience.
‘Love will always light the way, until we meet again some day…’
Please continue reading to hear my thoughts…
‘Following the sudden death of her beloved mother, Jessica Gibson’s world falls apart. But after meeting a man who seems heaven-sent, she starts to feel she has something to live for again.
And so begins an emotional journey, which leads Jessica to believe the unvbelievable, thanks to a series of intriguing messages from beyond the grave.
More than a ghost story, Out of the Darkness is a tale of friendship and redemption, of love and loss. and life…after death’
Out of the Darkness arrived at my house in a rather convoluted method.
In July I was contacted by Katy Hogan to review her novel. I was slow to accept, as in truth, I can be a bit cynical of ‘otherworldly’ presences. The email I received was so beautifully written, it was obvious to me straight away that Katy had read a little about me. I agreed to review and after a few postal hiccups I received a beautiful package one day with the scent of lavender hitting me straight away. Inside, wrapped up were the book, a beautiful postcard with a personal note from Katy and a lavender scented organic candle.
Following a bereavement in my own family, Katy Hogan’s book made me realise that I need to look harder, I need to recognise the signs in the day-to-day of my life.
I honestly believe I was meant to read Out of the Darkness.
Katy Hogan describes her novel as ‘spiritual rather than supernatural; chick lit with soul.’ A wonderful description.
The story is about Jessica Gibson, a young woman whose world is torn to shreds the day her mother, Linda, is tragically taken from her. Jessica is a nurse in a Geriatric Ward so death is something she is quite used to witnessing. Experiencing death in various forms almost on a daily basis, it is the day it lands on her own doorstep that Jessica’s life changes forever.
We are introduced to Jessica the day of her mother’s birthday. To anyone dealing with grief this a very hard day, as is every day.
‘The first Mother’s Day without her; the first Christmas without her; the first lonely cup of coffee in a café without her’
Jessica, finding it extremely difficult to move beyond her grief, happens to meet someone that night. Someone who will change her life in ways she never imagined.
Along the way she makes new friends with two women Hannah & Alex. The three quickly form a very special bond as they all deal with various traumas in their lives.
Each woman has a unique story to tell. Each is grieving in a very different way. Reading and sharing their stories, picking out pieces that were so relevant to my own life, I shed a tear. Actually, I shed a few.
I would be quite like Jessica in many ways, in how dealing with grief can make you turn in on yourself, can make you build up a hard shell to protect yourself. Jessica’s journey in many ways reflects my own. I spot a white feather and I stop. I see a red robin and I smile.
Jessica’s story will resonate with many, if not most, of us.
We all wonder where do our loved ones go when they leave us?
Will we know that they are safe?
Are they always with us?
I think everyone who reads Out of the Darkness will take their own message from it.
There are certain books and certain authors who have a way of reaching into your soul and into your mind. Mitch Albom and Paulo Coelho would be two. I would now put Katy Hogan in the same bracket.
I have not written too much about the storyline in this review, as to do so would ruin the experience. Needless to say, on a personal level, I gained something special in reading Out of the Darkness and I really hope you do too.
Every now and then, it’s very important that we all open our eyes to something new, something different and open our hearts to the possibility of what if???
I do hope you get a chance to pick up this special book which is available here:
Who is Katy Hogan:
‘Having grown up with a mother who consulted her tarot cards on a weekly basis, and who would frequently hear voices or sense an other-worldly presence, it has always been perfectly natural for me to assume that there is more to this life than meets the eye.
I have even experienced a few mysterious encounters myself. But it was only when I suffered the loss of a loved one that I started to question the possibility of life after death, and I decided to find out more.
And so began a fascinating journey into the world of the supernatural, where I met ‘ordinary’ people who claimed to have experienced the extraordinary. This is where I found the inspiration for my debut novel, Out of the Darkness.
Although it’s fiction, much of the phenomena written about in the story have been experienced by me, my friends, or people I spoke to during my research. I have started work on my second novel, but when I am not writing, you will find me keeping tabs on my teenage children, or walking my dogs in the Hertfordshire countryside’
You will find out more about Katy over at http://www.outofthedarknessnovel.com/