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Helen Schneider has an amazing and frightening gift that she first experiences as something surreal and awful. She sees a nearby, disastrous fire or the upcoming accident of neighbor. Thanks to a loving, nurturing grandmother and despite the fears and doubts of her own parents, Helen proceeds to develop this gift, albeit sometimes with deep regrets and fears.
An Angel appears to Helen, only to be rebuffed in Helen's sense of being overwhelmed by her experiences and feeling so different or odd from everyone else. Later the Angel will help her to accept the inevitable, being able to be a medium who connects the dead spirits with their loving relatives and friends.
So far, nothing unusual here, right? However what singularly marks this amazing novel is Helen's connection with the looming World War II and her ability to ease the mental or emotional suffering of soldiers and other non-combatants who actually experience the horrific specific events of this nightmarish period. The author has thoroughly researched this historical period, apparent in the skilled way the initial theories and news is presented. One senses Hitler's looming genocide and the significant military victories and losses about to happen in a way that makes the reader feel he or she is right there in each scene.
Neighbors tell these ideas and facts to Helen, and others she intuits with her gifted skills while reading the newspaper articles of the times. So vivid are her impressions that she becomes first a target for suspicion as a spy and later a credible connection for those unable to figure out what will happen next and how this all will end.
The Medium contains enough mystery, suspense, romance, and paranormal premonitions to keep the reader fascinated, intrigued and breathtakingly waiting to turn the next page. Noelle Sickels is a fine writer who has crafted a unique, impressive novel!!!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on October 14, 2007