Author : Naomi Gladish Smith
Format : Paperback, 304 pages
Release date : 2011
The third book in Naomi Gladish Smith's acclaimed series about souls in the afterlife follows a new group of seekers on their journey to heaven - or hell.
Kate Douglas, who spent a lifetime on earth teaching young students, in death finds herself at the Academy, a school for new arrivals in the afterlife. Barely accustomed to her new existence, she's confronted with the soul of her troubled nephew Dan, who took his own life. Dan struggles to find his path in this new world, encountering the innocent Birgit, who in life was an abused girl, and the beautiful Pegeen, who draws him into the dangerous territory bordering hell. But even as Kate teams up with her friend Frank and budding angel Percy to try to help Dan face his inner demons, Kate must deal with her own issues: her helplessness at watching her husband Howard, still on earth and dying of a degenerative disease; her attraction to Frank; and an assignment to guide a particularly difficult new arrival named Janet. Their fates intertwine as each searches within to discover whether they ultimately are bound for heaven or hell.
Inspired by Emanuel Swedenborg's descriptions of the afterlife, Smith paints a vivid picture of the world of spirits, a spiritual realm between heaven and hell where inner truths are revealed and the distance between any two people is no more than a thought.
Naomi Gladish Smith is the author of two other novels about the afterlife, making up a trilogy, The Arrivals (2004) and The Wanderers (2007). Her essays and articles have appeared in a number of anthologies and other publications. You can visit her website at www.naomigladishsmith.com
"Naomi Gladish Smith (The Wanderers) adds to her series about the afterlife that incorporates the theological views of the influential 18th-century thinker Emanuel Swedenborg. Recurring character Kate is asked to help the soul of her nephew Dan, newly arrived to the limbo-like afterworld of spirits. Dan has killed himself after having gotten involved with drugs and gangs. The newly dead go to the spirit world to learn about themselves before they pass into heaven or hell. Kate's not sure what to do, and she's distracted by the condition of her husband, Howard, still on earth with a degenerative disease. Other souls are also resolving issues left from their lifetimes. Smith writes with imagination, but also within the constraints of a Swedenborgian world view. . . This will certainly entertain Swedenborg's followers and may be a door to him for others."
- Publishers Weekly, January 24, 2011 print issue
"The work of this evocative author may soothe those fearful of death or frighten those who never gave their own demise much thought, but she never fails to intrigue and entertain. The Searchers is ideal for the open-minded reader fascinated with metaphysics." - ForeWord Reviews, March 8th, 2011