• Lit Scene Team

Perfect Read for the Halloween Season

Julia D. Robertson’s debut novel, Beyond The Screen Door (Regal Crest Publishing, September 30, 2016) chronicles Norah Lee’s haunting journey as her ability to connect with the supernatural comes to life. Norah’s struggle to speak to anyone after her encounter with those from the other side, her mother’s traumatic domestic violence journey and Norah and Joanne’s exploration of their feelings beyond friendship, makes for a gripping paranormal fiction story.

Beginning in the summer of 1945, seven-year-old Norah Lee realizes she has both the gift and the curse of connecting with spirits who have asked her to deliver a message. Despite her mother’s best friend warning Norah’s mother of the seriousness of the message the spirits had asked Norah to deliver, the signals are ignored and Norah’s taunting connection with the afterlife evolves.

As Norah navigates through the trauma her abusive father left behind and the horrifying spirits that taunt her, her fondness for Joanne grows immensely deeper. Friendship becomes a word not deep enough to describe the mutual love and attraction between the two. The feeling of belonging to one another becomes the norm and teenage exploration is aroused.

With the trials and tribulations Norah faced in her home, Joanne’s family also became her protection and escape from the disaster she called home. From looking after Norah to protecting her and her loved ones, Joanne and her kin become a quintessential family mold for Norah.

Beyond The Screen Door, the first of a series that we look forward to, develops each character densely creating an instant attachment with readers leaving a desire for more. The novel and story cross genre lines with thoughtful characters, a vivid storyline and imagery, and a love story that goes beyond labels. Robertson’s writing and imaginative mind is enthralling and promises a future filled with invigorating characters and stories as Norah’s journey continues and Joanne’s life takes a new and unexpected turn.

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