Raising Orion

29 June 2011

Raising Orion
by Lesley Choyce
Published by Thistledown Press Ltd
Review by Cindy Wilson
$19.95 978-1-897235-80-5

For those who believe in mystical events, miracles, and the endless possibilities of what can be achieved when you truly believe, Raising Orion is the book for you. If you are very skeptical about how one person’s mind can touch the mind of another, causing wondrous results, this is also the book for you.

Molly grew up as the only child of a lighthouse keeper on a remote island near Halifax, Nova Scotia. Having no classmates or playmates, she developed a tremendous rapport with nature. As a young child she began resurrecting seemingly dead birds and small animals. When she was twelve her father was caught at sea in an October storm. He was thrown from his dory by a ten foot wave. As his lungs filled with sea water he sank to the harbour floor. At home on the island, Molly knows exactly when this happens. Amazingly, her father is found alive on shore the next morning. That same morning Molly awakes to find her bedroom rug soaked through with a clear fluid, “as if she had drunk a great volume of water and heaved it up over and over through the night”. She remembers her dream that night, “of drowning and what it had been like to die as she looked up at the surface of the harbour from far below”. Molly is seemingly touched by another miracle.

Molly’s life as an adult life intersects with that of Eric, a retired history professor, and Todd, a fourteen- year old who is in the fight of his life against a deadly cancer. Eric is finding a new beginning in Halifax. This comes after a time in his life when he was so despondent and disillusioned that he travelled to Baffin Island to disappear forever by taking a final walk on the ice and snow. Todd knows he is not going to recover. Molly uses the strengths that were developed on her island home to greatly influence the lives of these two characters.

Todd and Molly become friends. Through stories about her island and a day trip there, she helps Todd find a way to escape his pain. Using the bond they have formed, his mind can connect to Molly’s as if by an invisible line. He can then return to the island at any time to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of that magical place removing himself from the
realty of his life.

Eric is enchanted by Molly. He becomes her protector and supporter. When she returns to her island home again Eric accompanies her. There he finds peace, love for Molly, and an answer as to why he did not die on the hard blue ice and snow of Baffin Island.

Lesley Choyce’s descriptions set every scene so clearly you can feel the cutting chill of the blue Arctic ice and feel the,”creases, cracks,and gullies” of the island bedrock beneath your feet. Seeing the picture Lesley Choyce paints, you will marvel at a night sky full of sparkling constellations, with Orion being the most well-loved.


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