I read Portsmouth slowly and with great gusto. In fact, I allowed myself just a couple of chapters a day so I could make the experience last as I relished and appreciated every word. Despite my best efforts to make the reading of this book go on forever, I finished it long before I was ready to give it up; fortunately, the author is currently writing a sequel.
Reading Portsmouth was a very special experience for me–not because it’s a love story, although it’s a wonderful love story; and not because it’s set in, and chock full of great history about a town in New Hampshire that’s now on my travel list. I became so caught up in, and involved in this book, because so much of it could very well be my life story…and yours too. The story is fiction, but what the protagonist, Severine, experiences throughout this saga, are things that all of us can relate to, and it’s so interesting to see them written about as prose; including:
- Growing up in a family that doesn’t believe you can see and speak with Spirit, and punishes you for talking about it.
- What it’s like explaining to friends that you see and hear things that they don’t.
- Dealing with folks who want to label you as a heretic and ostracize you because you don’t follow traditional religious beliefs.
- Facing the challenges of opening up about yourself to potential romantic partners, and dealing with the repercussions when that person isn’t receptive.
- Learning to stand in our own personal truth.
I don’t want to give too much away, because I know you’ll savor every word of this book, too; but…I have to share with you that when Severine is called a heretic in the story, it really struck a chord with me. Not just because I had a past life where I was burned at the stake, but because the fear of re-living this century’s equivalent of being burned at the stake kept me in the Spiritual closet for a very long time.
I loved this book so much that I contacted the author, R. Ann Rousseau, and asked if she would share a little bit about the writing of Portsmouth with us today, and she agreed. I am so happy to introduce you to her right now:
Sherri: R. Ann, I love your book. It was very cathartic for me to read about Severine’s experiences and how she dealt with the challenges of being out of the Spiritual closet while living a ‘normal’ life. As I read it, I often wondered, ‘Is this the author’s personal story?’
R. Ann: Thank you. Most novelists write about what they know and incorporate some of their personal experiences into the story. I have done this as well. The goal of writing the novel was less about telling my personal story as it was about making the reader feel good. With the stress of the Great Recession, the bombardment of issues on the nightly news and all the violence we’re exposed to on TV and in movies, I felt we were way overdue for a love story that makes us feel good.
Sherri: The heroine, Severine, risks her new and long-waited-for romantic relationship when she stands up to the cruel Spirit of her boyfriend’s uncle who is hurting his father. She also helps send the spirits of several Earthbound children into the light. The descriptions of how she does these things and the words she uses are not fiction. Have you had personal experience in these areas?
R. Ann: I have had experiences similar to those in those in the novel, but I wanted the metaphysical to be peripheral to the narrative—not the story itself…as it is in real life. I wanted the metaphysical scenes to reflect what an intuitive person really experiences and not something too bizarre and unbelievable. In books and movies, the paranormal is portrayed as something silly, and spooky. I wanted the reader to experience the scene as it would really happen. I hope someday we can get to a point where having a conversation with Spirit is second nature, whether that is Source Energy or individual spirit entity such as your grand-mother who has passed. I think we’re in a period of spiritual transformation as a human culture. We’re moving from a patriarchal society where we’re told what to believe and how to pray to it, to a universal scientific understanding of the energetic forces that surround us and how they operate.
Sherri: R. Ann, I’m not ashamed to admit that I read your wonderful book very slowly because I loved reading about someone who has experienced so many of the things someone who is awake experiences, and I’m sure this book will resonate with Lightworkers. I know you’re working on a sequel—can you give us any insight into what challenges are coming up for Severine?
R. Ann: There are some unresolved issues in the current novel that I’ll bring out in the sequel. The sequel will show the next step in the relationship between Severine and Peter and the challenges a new marriage faces in a community where everyone knows your name. My preliminary title is Portsmouth -The Pearl with the spiritual message that difficulties and irritations in our life and relationships create layers that make us stronger and our relationships more precious. There will always be a spiritual lesson and message in my novels.
Sherri: Thank you so much for writing this book and for sharing with my readers today.
A little bit about the author: R. Ann Rousseau is a business consultant, writer, and blog owner. She lives with her family in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Her blog is Explore Beyond the Usual where spiritual, metaphysical and astrology topics are discussed.
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