Book Review: The Refuge by Heidi Martin

In our pursuit to success, we have forgotten to discover our own true self, and this fact is the foundation of The Refuge by Heidi Martin. The protagonist, Anna, is suffering the loss of her daughter, Claire. To deal with this pain, she has drowned herself into work. She is traveling continuously for work, spending most of her time in the office, and staying away from her husband (Frederick). He is eager to talk about their loss with Anna, but she is not willing to open herself up to him or anybody. This emotional and physical distance is affecting their marital life. Frederick’s mother is pushing him to seek a divorce. Frederick, however, loves Anna too much to give up on their marriage so easily. Amidst all the trepidation, Anna’s dreams are urging her to follow a path of self-discovery.

Loss of a child is always tough to recover from. Many marriages never survive this loss. One reason could be a lack of communication. If one partner is keeping all their emotions bottled up, the other partner might feel alone during this tough time. The author has touched this topic very beautifully. Frederick loves Anna a lot, but he feels alone in dealing with the loss of their daughter. Everybody deals with the pain in a different manner. This difference is presented in the approaches that Anna and Frederick follow.

The first few chapters, where Frederick and Anna are struggling to keep their marriage out of trouble, are very engaging. The chapters, where Anna is on the path of self-discovery, are a little slow. These chapters, nevertheless, are full of many interesting facts about spirituality and meditation. Her journey to understand herself before anything else around her is very inspirational. There are many important lessons to be learned in these chapters. Apart from being abundant with wisdom, these chapters are filled with several relationships. All the characters are full of life. There is no character whom I could not connect with. My favorite character is Anna. Although she dealt with the pain of losing her daughter in an unhealthy manner, she chose the path which could help her get out of her heartbreak. She is compassionate, caring, and understanding. Above all, she is a fearless woman.

In short, The Refuge is a book that shows its readers the real meaning of success. While we are busy spending all our times chasing success, we forget to discover ourselves.The concept of keeping a balance between yin and yang amused me a lot. There are many other such concepts that would spark interest in the readers.

Apart from a little slower pace, I have not much to complain about. Therefore, it would come as no surprise when I rate The Refuge 3 out of 4 stars.

This book was an “OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day”. It can be found on OBC bookshelf by clicking on this link: http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelves/book.php?id=154319

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