Twenty-six-year-old Hope Wells is introduced to quantum theory as she finds herself hurtled into an alternate dimension at the hands of her bungling spirit guide in an attempt to save Hope from an accident that would have resulted in her certain death.
Emma Lowen, an ageless spirit guide, has been responsible for guiding Hope’s maternal lineage for generations and unveils herself now in order to help guide Hope through a dimension that is rated far lower on the civil liberties scale than the world she has left behind.
As two versions of the same person do not exist simultaneously in the same dimension, Hope’s alternate self has taken her place in a highly evolved dimension where war and poverty are unheard of. The alternate Hope is introduced to a reality that is not ruled by capitalist gain—a world that has benefited from the leadership of true visionaries who remained in public service. Alternate Hope soon discovers that she has won the dimension jackpot when she learns that John Lennon, a leading human rights activist, represents the UK for the United Nations General Assembly, while taking the occasional break to tour the globe with the band.
Both women struggle with this strange twist of fate as they work their way through each other’s lives while waiting for their spirit guide to figure out how to restore the continuum and return each to her own dimension.
As Alternate Hope does her best to preserve a completely foreign romantic relationship, the other Hope must learn to navigate the unknown waters of homophobia, racial bigotry, the state of a mental health industry self-governed by giant pharma, a severely degraded environment, the inequality of opportunity, and last but not least, the murderous intentions of a sociopath with delusions of grandeur.
It’s a race against time as all concerned struggle to make it to the portal in the right place at the right time to safely return both Hopes to the dimensions they call home.
My Review- 5 Stars
Being a Star Trek fan, I’ve gone down the road of alternate universes several times, and each time I found the journey intriguing and thought-provoking. What if the exact opposite of myself exists just half a second behind me? What if every possible outcome of every choice I’ve ever made has its own reality? What if we really can step through the looking glass and find a place that’s similar, yet vastly different?
Cate Hallahan’s Portal of Hope sent me, and will send readers, in another direction along the same path of parallel universes. Her lead character, Hope, finds herself in foreign, alternate, territory after an accident that causes her slightly inept….or perhaps just cunning….spirit guide to shift her existence from our reality to another.
Complex? Yes. In fact, I found myself re-reading sections from time to time just to make sure I knew which reality I was in, but I’ve always enjoyed a read I have to work for a little. The characters were dynamic and unique, not always opposite in the way I might conceive opposite to be. Not only were the characters dichotic, but the cultures of the alternative realities as well. Clever? Absolutely. So much so, that I once again found myself wondering who resides on the opposite side of my mirror.
Portals of Hope opened not only polar spheres of reality for the character to traverse, but it led me down multiple metaphysical paths where I had to pause and give my ruminations the opportunity to express themselves. When an author can not only weave a complex and beguiling tale that draws you in and gets you to invest, but also succeeds in making you wonder about things you rarely, if ever, considered, that author has struck the perfect balance between reality and ….well, the alternative.