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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Life Only Different: A Novel by Jim D Buchanan is an interesting romance with an intriguing setting, a plot that takes readers to exotic places and introduces them to feisty and vibrant characters. From the very start of the narrative, the reader encounters one of the key characters in the story, Grant Mitchell, ordered to “spend two years of days, and nights too, masquerading as an emissary of American goodwill, on the island of Sicily.” He never suspected that “those circumstances would present Mount Etna and a Greek Goddess, with a challenge.” From this moment on, the reader is pulled into an adventure of love and human connections and, very interestingly, the connections the characters eventually develop with the setting.
The voice didn’t grab me right off the bat, but as the narrative evolved, it became clearer and more confident and came across powerfully through the vivid descriptions of the scenes as well as the setting. The writing is focused and the points of view brilliantly expressed, thanks to the skilled and deft handling of dialogues. Jim D Buchanan’s sense of setting is exemplified in this novel and I enjoyed the imagery of the road as a symbol of the journey the characters make from themselves to the heart of each other. Hints of Greek mythology also enrich the narrative and infuse it with a singular magic. Life Only Different: A Novel is an inspiring love story with powerful underpinnings of adventure and environmental themes, a tale with a unique plot structure and compelling characters.