The mystical images of the Tarot’s archetypal trump cards chart the way, 22 sequential steps along the path to success known as “The Fool’s Journey.” Illustrated by images from the Payen Tarot of Marseilles (1713), which is the oldest surviving Tarot deck.
*May Contain Spoilers*
Gail Cleare shares one woman's journey of change, self-discovery, and love in her novel, Destined. Though it was first published a few years ago, there is now an e-book copy available, allowing this novel to be newly discovered. Full of magic with themes of friendships, personal growth, and learning to trust, I believe this book will resonate with readers.
Emily is the main character of this novel and she's not in the greatest place at the beginning. She angrily storms out of her workplace, vowing to start over. However, throughout the book, Emily is a generally happy person who lets her past experiences shape her future. This does make her a little overcautious, but it also allows her to grow within the confines of the novel. Emily is also incredibly friendly and caring. She wants to be trusted and help others when she is able to. Her caring nature touches various characters in the book, demonstrating how much one person can help a community. It's really amazing how quickly she forms her own community after finding a job at an eclectic goods store.
The store, run by the very enjoyable Henry Paradis, is what opens Emily up to the magical realism that runs throughout this novel. From laughing bells to positive visualization, this book brings the idea of magic into the folds of everyday life. The way the story follows the progression of the tarot deck adds to that magic, as readers get a little teaser of what each chapter will be about. Though overall the novel is focused on how Emily changes her own life by going after what she wants and learning how to forge her own path, the love story that accompanies that evolution is also a sweet addition. Though Tony Novak wasn't my favorite character at the beginning of the book, he does grow on readers through his positive outlook and generally sweet disposition, even if he is a little 'all-in.' He is the kind of character that dives into things head first because he makes a decision as to what he wants and then he goes directly for it, no holds barred. At times, this seemed a little obsessive to me, but I think his character's goodness and trustworthiness eventually won me over.
Destined is a very positive novel that shows both character evolution and how choosing your own path and making every choice to get there allows you to have the life you want, the life that will make you happy. It also offers a strong sense of community that readers will enjoy, as the book isn't only about Emily, but everyone who lives and works on Market Street. This book offers so much, I think readers who enjoy magical realism, love stories, and character growth will really enjoy Destined.
Rating: 3/5 Cups