||January 2, 2008
Remote Control by Cynthia Polansky
With the wit of "Diary of Bridget Jones" and the spiritual elements of "The Lovely Bones," "Remote Control" is the story of a Jewish control freak who dies suddenly but doesn't know how to let go.
So thinks thirty-something Judith McBride, a Jewish control freak with an unlikely last name. When Judith dies in a medical mishap, she calls on her supernatural status to "rescue" her widowed spouse from the sexy clutches of their gold-digging, thrill-seeking, blonde accountant. But interfering with earthly events is strictly verboten, and the repercussions ripple outward, affecting not only Judith but the lives of her husband and best friend.
Judith's journey from the physical to the spiritual world is peppered with adjustments, choices, and self-discovery, ultimately leading her to the realization that loving sometimes means learning how to let go.
"If the spirit of a loving wife can't nudge her husband in the right direction, who can?
-- Judith McBride
Midwest Book Review
Due to a medical mishap Judith McBride dies at the age of thirty one and she is immediately released from the corpse that no longer contains her spirit. In death, she still has a body and looks better than ever. She attends her own funeral and sees her beloved husband still coping with her death. After that she is transported to the astral plane where she meets her spirit guide. Ashraf. He tells her she has reincarnated forty-nine times before.
She is assigned to Level Seven but can visit the lower levels. While there she is offered a job to care of pets waiting for their owners just as Judith was reunited with her late dogs. She visits Saul and sees he is with their accountant Mary Lynn. Although she is told she can't get involved in changing anyone's destiny, when Mary Jane convinces Saul to go to bungee jumping in New Zealand Judith knows if he goes he will die. She sends messages to him and her friend Michaela through dreams that warns him not to go. Judith has yet to learn that instead of dealing with someone else's karma she should be working on her own spiritual growth.
Mindful of Albert Brooks' Defending Your Life, REMOTE CONTROL is one woman's experiences in the afterlife and her determination to save her husband from harm which is more important to her than her spiritual growth. Readers will like her in spite of her hubris in believing she can meddle in someone's destiny even out of love. The afterlife is fabulously described by Cynthia Polansky and readers are treated to see five levels of that realm. This is an enchanting and spiritual book that will appeal to readers of all religions.
Tampa Book Buzz
When you pick up a new book and discover that the first sentence of Chapter One is “I died on a Tuesday when I was thirty-one years old,” you know that you’re in for an interesting read. Cynthia Polansky’s Remote Control is that and more. The main character Judith is an average, normal, happily-married woman with a best friend, two dogs and a good job — until her untimely death from hilariously embarrassing circumstances.
After her death, Judith is anything but average. Unable to fully concentrate on the afterlife lessons of her spirit guide Ashraf, she obsessively watches over her bereaved husband Saul and best friend Micaela. Judith’s initial concern for Saul’s adjustment to widowerhood morphs into jealous anxiety after watching Saul become romantically involved with their gorgeous and greedy accountant. Judith figures that she can fulfill her responsibilities in the afterlife and protect her husband at the same time. She discovers, however, that meddling busybodies who show up late for work are just as annoying in the afterlife as in her past life, but with far more serious consequences.
Remote Control is one part humorous chick lit and one part clever paranormal fantasy, stirred with inspirational wisdom and served with some startling plot twists. The book you finish is not the same one you started, but you enjoy them both and learn a lot on the journey.
"Judith dies unexpectedly at age thirty-one, during a relatively routine surgical procedure brought on by an unexpected health situation. New to the after-life, Judith finds herself trying out her limits, moving quickly from operating room view to mortuary to graveside ceremony, where she discovers that the rabbi's and mourners' prayers bathe her spirit in total onrush of love that she has never before experienced. In addition, she realizes afterward at the mourners' gathering that the simple negativity of criticism and sarcasm render her heavy and dull; so she decides it's time to move on to the further arenas of life in spirit.
Judith is introduced to Ashraf, her spirit guide, and discovers that even spirits have guides. She also learns that soul evolution requires many lifetimes; no one is perfected during just a single incarnation. Ash reveals that as Judith's muse, he had inspired her love of poetry and desire to write it. Judith determines to concentrate on her spiritual growth, but sometimes she can't resist a visit to her former home; and when she discovers that her widower Saul has suddenly become taken with their lovely accountant Mary Lynn, Judith decides someone with a wiser perspective than theirs needs to step in and take control.
Remote Control is an endearing look at the afterlife with wisdom and joy. We come away with the wise admonition to relinquish what we can no longer control, in order to move onward and upward in our own spiritual evolution patterns. Judith is a well-developed character and rings true to life, as do the secondary characters. I shall be interested to see further from this author."
-- Eveline Soors for Euro-Reviews
"A remarkable novel…Cynthia writes with gentle wisdom and an uncanny ability to create funny and charming characters which touch the heart…one woman’s journey from the physical to the spiritual world…it’s about adjustments, making choices, and about self-discovery. But most of all it’s about the realization that loving sometimes means ultimately learning how to let go. A must read…"
-- Chad Bowles
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