Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Failed Moments by A. Robert Allen


What if the only way to survive your life is to go back in history and right the wrongs of two other men’s lives?

Patrick Walsh finds himself in this precarious position as he goes back in time from modern day New York City to:

˃˃˃ The French Caribbean in 1790

Biracial plantation owner Patrice Beaumont is known as a “kinder” slave master and claims to be committed to ending slavery, but his actions don’t back-up his words. Is being the “best of the worst” all he’s capable of?

˃˃˃ 1863 New York City

Irish street fighter Patrick Allen is days away from the biggest fight of his career, when the Draft Riots ignite dangerous racial conflicts around the city. Never one to take sides outside the ring, he steers clear of the angry mobs. So when he stumbles on a lynching in progress, who can expect him to do anything more than look away?

Tackling race relations from a unique perspective, Failed Moments is a thought-provoking adventure that questions the measure of a man not by his decision to do no harm, but his willingness to act on what is right.

Review by Rochelle:

I wonder if Mr. Allen read the same metaphysical books I read that stated time does not run chronologically on the other side, and our various lives overlap enabling us to influence past lives as well as future ones. While lying comatose in a hospital bed, Patrick Walsh finds himself waiting for a date in the lobby of a posh New York hotel. He’s shocked when his “date” turns out to be his favorite aunt, Grace. She tells him they’re soul-mates who have been together in various relationships through many lifetimes together, and before they can move on to the next level, they need to change decisions they made in two of their past lives, and improve the way Patrick lives in this life.

In both of their past lives, Patrick was at the crux of racially-charged situations, and actions he failed to take made a difference in the outcomes in the world around him. And, in both of those lives, advice Grace failed to give Patrick influenced his inaction. If they manage to change those things, Patrick will come out of his coma and have a chance to change his current life. If he does so, he can move on to the next level of existence—Heaven, Nirvana, eternal Summerland, whatever one chooses to call it.

It’s not easy to stand up between fearful plantation owners and mobs of angry slaves or an Irish lynch mob who believe if they’re drafted to fight in the Civil War New York will be overrun by freed slaves who will work for lower wages and take away the few jobs they’re allowed to hold. It’s much easier to look the other way and maintain the status quo. Especially without the information his mammy or his mother could give him that would echo in his mind and encourage him to take a stand for what is right.

Failed Moments engaged me from the first page. I learned a lot about race relations on Haiti when it was still a French colony, and about how Tammany Hall controlled the military draft in New York City during the Civil War. There was also a spiritual lesson there, and an explanation of how reincarnation works, and again the fact that our lives do not play out chronologically. We can go back from this lifetime and change things in past lives. I believe this is something we sometimes do in our dreams. And yet, all of this information is delivered in an exciting, page-burning way. Mr. Allen transports us back to those times, into those lives, and shows us first-hand how it was, what happened, and…

The reason I’m giving Failed Moments 4.5 roses is that like so many self-published authors, Mr. Allen could have used a good fiction content editor. He did a better job than most indie authors in that he managed to avoid grammar errors and too many info dumps, but there were quite a few head-hops—changes of point-of-view in the middle of scenes. While the book did not read like an academic treatise (thank goodness!), Mr. Allen does not quite have the hang of writing fiction. He does, however, have a really good start. By all means, buy Failed Moments.

Length:  245 Pages
Print:  $16.41
Digital:  $2.99
Audible:  17.46

Thanks for visiting. Julie, Donna, & Rochelle

No comments:

Post a Comment