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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Ripple by Rachel Odell Howe is a spellbinding story that follows an elite triathlete, Jillian Richards, who is involved in a life-threatening accident as she rushes to return home to Boulder and take care of her sick father. If not for the big storm looming ahead, she wouldn’t be in so much of a hurry to leave Boston, but it’s coming with freezing rains and high winds, according to the weatherman. But she rushes into an accident that results in her being trapped between death and wakefulness. Follow her journey as she battles with death, but, most interestingly, follow the story of five other people, strangers who seem to have nothing in common but a memory of their own near-death experiences as they fight for her.
Rachel Odell Howe is a very good storyteller and she knows how to craft backstories into a tale, enriching it and giving it more depth and life. It takes a lot of skill to write a backstory without getting readers confused and distracted and this author has that skill. The opening pages — the first paragraph itself — are arresting and the skillful use of dialogue is commendable. The story starts with a moment of crisis — the protagonist will have to change their flight rather than get stuck because of the storm. But things quickly get out of control when she is involved in an accident. From this moment on, the story takes on a new dimension, unveiling a deep spiritual current with great psychological underpinnings. Ripple is written in a style that is flawless and I couldn’t resist the pull of the language. The insightful writing combined with the depth of characters and the strong setting make this story a riveting read.