Three Women Press (2018)
Reviewed by Jennifer Wilson for Reader Views (9/18)
“The Moment Between” by Gareth Frank is a book I could not put down. I read it in line at the grocery store, in the bathtub, while walking the dog. My social media friends thought I had dropped off the face of the earth. I lost some serious sleep telling myself, “Just one more chapter”.
Dr. Hackett Metzger (even the name is interesting!) is an average, everyday brain surgeon mourning the death of the love of his life. Part of him is ready and willing to move on and find companionship, but then there are his feelings of guilt at the thought. Having been married to my best friend for 21 years, it was very easy for me to empathize with his feelings at the loss of his wife. He has a successful practice and a wealth of medical accomplishments, but his heart still has a hole that only a loving spouse can fill.
When he is asked to back a study on “near death” experiences, his first instinct is to scoff at the very idea of something as unscientific as the beckoning of a bright white light at the end of a long tunnel. A lifelong skeptic, he has no doubt the study is a waste of time. But, his love for his friends outweighs his love of reputation, so he agrees. This decision proves invaluable and ultimately plays a huge role in his future.
As he struggles to move forward after losing his beloved, he encounters rejection, depression, and a wealth of other emotions before finding “the one”. Sarah has also lost a spouse and is raising her teenage son alone. As if this isn’t hard enough, the young man has seemingly, uncontrollable epilepsy. Sarah’s son Aaron has been seeing Dr. Metzger for a while now, and Hackett finds everything he has been missing in Sarah, much to the disgust of his closest friends. There is just something about Sarah that isn’t right. But, as they say, love is blind, and Hackett jumps in with both feet and no life preserver.
Love story? Mystery? Yes, and so much more. The reader is shown from the very beginning of the story the true nature of its characters. But Dr. Metzger isn’t privy to that information. It struck me that as it is written, we aren’t the ones trying to figure out who the “bad guy” is, we find ourselves talking to the pages, urging the characters to be careful and watch out. However, the openness of the author does not in any way take away from the suspense in this book. There are still a lot of unknowns that will keep you enthralled. Frank’s written representation of the near-death experiences and their subsequent residual effects on the people who have had them is absolutely astounding.
In “The Moment Between” by Gareth Frank, I found that sometimes bad things happen to good people, sometimes bad people get what they deserve, and sometimes you have to go through a whole lot of heartache just to see that happiness was always within your grasp. It’s amazing what we could see if we would open our hearts instead of our eyes.