Gloria Herrmann, The Pass Through, 2017
The Pass Through Certainly Passes the Time
From romance author Gloria Herrmann comes The Pass Through, a novel based on Kathryn, a doctor who is recently single, and her adventures after leaving the bust life of Los Angeles for a family holiday in Washington State. There she meets Lucas, the town’s sheriff, and they have a connection. Away from Kathryn, however, we follow the journey of Armel, a spirit who guides recently deceased people to The Pass Through, a gateway from our world to another.
What is interesting straight away is the writing style; Kathryn’s journey is written in third-person while Armel is in first-person. This works as Armel is able to describe beings he sees, and his own personal feelings in a way that third-person wouldn’t be as effective at, while third-person allows everything around Kathryn, including her romantic encounters, to be told, rather than just focusing on her. And on the writing: a few mistakes aside (the most notable was how Kathryn became Katherine at one point), it is very easy to follow and is very clear about what’s going on. The hollowness with which Armel feels is beautifully described, and the romance is described well-enough that establishes a connection. There are a few things (such as characters constantly winking) that are repetitive, but that doesn’t really take anything away from the storytelling.
The characters all serve their purpose well; while there is attachments to Armel and Kathryn, the rest seem a bit stereotypical (the perfect lover, the perfect family, etc.) but they all come together nicely to make for a nicely put-together romance. However, in terms of the plot, a few things seemed rushed. The major incident, which causes the death of a lot of people, and which ultimately leads to Kathryn and Armel meeting, is quickly finished with, as is the supernatural conflict in the final battle. Both are brilliant ideas, but with a story that is given time to fully develop everything, these chapters felt a little short.
Overall The Pass through is a heart-warming romance novel with a unique combination of a real-world romance and a supernatural being. While it had some small errors, they ultimately didn’t take anything away from a fully-enjoyable novel.
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