A Dream of Shadows: A Novel of Reincarnation
Diana M. DeLuca
Seafield House (2014)
Reviewed by Nicollette Violante for Reader Views (02/15)
“A Dream of Shadows” by Diana M. DeLuca chronicles the epic journey of William “Bill” del Vecchio, a man dying of cancer. On his death bed, Bill cannot seem to let go because he believes his life to have had no purpose. Soon Bill is observing and seeing the life of an historic Italian scholar, Aonio Paleario, who was declared a heretic by the Roman Catholic Church in 1570. Bill slowly starts to realize that he is “reliving” his past life…that he was Aonio, and he begins to recognize the people in Aonio’s life as the people in his current life. Why is he reliving his past life? Does he discover one of life’s mysteries in the process?
DeLuca is a compassionate and incredible writer that weaves a story that ties in different times, life, and even death. Well written and impossible to put down, anyone with a fascination with the meaning of life, history, truth, and life after death must read this book. As someone who spent some time in a Buddhist monastery, what touched me the most about “A Dream of Shadows” was the revelation that we all reincarnate in groups. That was something I had learned from one of the monks while I was at the monastery, and DeLuca plays it out so well in her novel. Relationships may take on different forms, but the essence of that person, or rather soul, and the relationship you have with it, remains.
"A Dream of Shadows” by Diana M. DeLuca is a thought provoking novel, we explore and jump through the lives of Billy and Aonio, and explore Billy’s consciousness, feeling and living through the revelations as Billy does. A gentle book on a tough subject matter, reading it made me realize that life may not necessarily end at death, and that every life indeed serves a purpose, no matter the mistakes.