Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Living Room

Title: The Living Room - A Novel of Life, Dealth, Love - and Miracles

Author: Bill Rolfe
Book Trailer: Click here
Author's website (also indicates where the book is available): Click here

Book summary (Back cover): When success and even love are not enough, you need a miracle…
Daniel Clay has good looks, money, and a rising career as a New York investment advisor. Meanwhile, his personal life is barren of love and family. But when a distant relative dies and leaves him a house in England, Daniel embarks on a life-changing journey—toward love and his soul’s awakening.
He meets and falls in love with Claire, a children’s palliative care nurse. With her help, he opens his home and heart to comfort young patients in their final days. As Claire tends to the children in a beautiful glassed-in room overlooking the sea, Daniel prays for miracles. Just when his prayers are answered, a mysterious illness strikes him down and relentlessly drains away his life. With no hope for a cure, Daniel holds fast to a deep secret that he can never reveal. And now, he needs a miracle of his own.

My views:

I believe in miracles and I do believe that sincere prayers can result in miracles – I’ve personally witnessed this, yet at the same time, I don’t exactly believe in dreams, I rarely have dreams.
So when I learnt that this book was based on dream that the author, Bill Rolfe had and in the dream he was asked to write this book, I was a bit skeptical.
Having read the book, I am so glad that I took up the author’s request for a book review. The main protagonist of the book – Daniel Clay, has worked hard to make his way up the corporate ladder at an investment firm in New York. He works tirelessly days and nights almost all days of the week and has been nominated for partnership.

His mentor and senior partner in this investment firm, Art Rothschild, tells him to concentrate on a personal life as well. Daniel respects Art, but getting a personal life, a life partner seems to be Daniel’s biggest challenge. Things suddenly change...

An attorney has been calling Daniel’s office persistently about a personal matter, a deceased Uncle in England, whom Daniel never even knew of. For the first time in several years, Daniel takes time off to visit England to see his newly inherited house and sell it off.

He could not have imagined what life had in store. The house, has a loving warm aura and one room in particular, with a splendid view is extra special. In the course of carrying out minor repairs around the house, so as to make it more saleable, Daniel injures himself, meets Claire, a palliative children’s nurse. They date and she makes a strange request.

This ‘healing room’ becomes a guest room for the terminally ill children. One of the first guests dies, Daniel is unable to bear the pain and becomes the receptacle for miracles, but at a great personal cost. Claire, who has by now fallen in love with Daniel needs a miracle of her own. I will not act as a spoil sport and tell you what happens.

This book is very well written, it does not deal nor refer to any religion and is more grounded on spirituality; it flows flawlessly and is a book of hope, love and miracles.

I also appreciate that all of the author's proceeds from this book will be going directly to charities that help children with life threatening illnesses and their families, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation.


1) You have mentioned that it was a dream that prompted you to write this book. Post this dream have you become more aware of miracles around you?

I have definitely become more aware of the miracles that happen around me since having the dream. Even just little things at the times when you really need them in life.

2) The power of prayer, comes shining through in this book. What advice would you like to give someone who doesn't believe in a supreme power (say an atheist?)

I think the only advice I could give would be to just go with what's in your heart. I don't think people like to be preached to, I know I wouldn't either. All I can say is it is nice to have someone or something to speak with or pray towards at times in your life when you really need it. I have also found that showing gratitude for the things I have has been a good practice for me.

3) I understand the sale proceeds of this book will go to charity. Can you share some light on which charity you support and why?

Right now my first goal is to try and support the Make A Wish Foundation. They help to grant wishes to children who are battling against life-threatening medical conditions. Ultimately, I hope to sponsor a wish child if I'm able to in the future.

The story behind the book: Late one night back in July 2002, I fell asleep and had a dream. It was unlike any dream I had before, or since. It was like watching an extended movie, and it ended with instructions for me in the rolling credits. I awoke in shock and glanced at the clock next to my bed, only to discover what seemed like hours of sleep had only been a few minutes.

I got up, sat at my desk and spent the rest of the night writing everything down. Never having written anything before, I took the next few weeks to follow the instructions from the dream – share the story in a novel. After a few months of being inspired by the story, but at the same time feeling overwhelmed with the project, I put it away. However, I couldn't forget it.
Now, after more than nine years of struggling with the process and battling against my own self-doubt, I’m ready to share the story.
The Living Room was my dream.

Source of the photograph: Downloaded from Flickr and used as per the terms of the Creative Commons License


Susan P. Cooper said...

What an amazing story. The book sounds just as interesting. I am a profuse dreamer and can see that happening. I will be checking this book out and plan on buying it as a gift for a dear friend. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront my freind. :)

Catarina said...

Realistic plot actually, Lubna.

The main protagonist of the book – Daniel Clay, has worked hard to make his way up the corporate ladder at an investment firm in New York. Many of them suddenly decide to do something good instead because they feel the need to contribute to society after having sold "sub prime" derivatives to customers. Most of them however end up working in Israel or working for some religious organisation in the United States.

Destination Infinity said...

A different storyline. These things can happen in real-life too. People can get swayed in a different direction than they originally intended, while embarking on a journey. Nature works in a more mysterious way than we think/know!

Destination Infinity

Jeri said...

What an interesting idea for a plot. I'm often drawn to books that contain such struggles for the characters.

Bill Rolfe said...

Hello Everyone !

Firstly, thank-you Lubna for taking the time to read my novel.

I'm enjoying the comments so far as it sounds like people can relate to the story in someway with their own life experiences.

It's been a long struggle (10 years) for me to produce and publish the story I had in my dream. I just couldn't forget the project, so I'm always thrilled when someone else reads and enjoys the story.

Thanks everyone,
Bill Rolfe

Keyuri Joshi said...

Your summary immediately caught my interest. I've been looking for something good to curl up with near the fire. The character struggles in this book seem so realistic and captivating.

Susan Oakes said...

It is an incredible story Lubna and it will be a book I will check out. Liked the interview as always.

A.K.Andrew said...

It does sound like a great story, and I really appreciated the author's acknowledgment of people who are not religious. Fantastic he is giving some of the proceeds to a charity too. Win-win situation.

Dan Meyers said...

Sounds like an inspiring book... although it might only inspire me to leave my corporate job!! :)

Dilip said...

The theme itself is awesome. A 'must-read' for me.

Thanks Lubna

Lubna said...

@Susan C: I think I can guess who your friend is. Both you and her will love this book.
@Destination Infinity: This sure was a path breaking change for Daniel Clay
@Catarina: Oh yes, the need to wash sins away does creep up on some!
@Jeri: Yes, the plot was different, with a capital D
@Keyuri and Susan O: Happy reading
@AK Andrew: I loved the fact that all proceeds will be donated to charity
@Dan and Dilip: Yes, it is an inspiring book.
@Bill: Thanks for dropping by and for writing this book.

Doreen Pendgracs said...

17 zesperThanks for sharing this story, Lubna. It sounds like a fascinating book. And as a writer, I can relate to Bill's decision to put it all aside for several years and wait until the time was right to write the book. We absolutely can't force the muse to appear and help us write the story until the time is just right.

Tope said...

Definitely a must read. The review sounds really compelling.

Lubna said...

@Doreen: Thanks for visiting. Yes, moreso Bill is not a full time writer, this book is flawless, yet perhaps it is his first book.

@Tope: Welcome to my blog and thanks for dropping by.

Kelly Wade said...

Oh my gosh, what an amazing story! Having a dream that was as vivid as a movie, but only lasted a couple of minutes, and then being prompted to write a book from it before ever writing anything else. That is crazy. I am much more spiritual than religious, I think I would like this book. Thanks for the great review!

Brohawk92 said...

Very interesting review. I think a movie version of the book would be very interesting. I am not a reader of this type of book, but your review has intrigued me.

Thank you for sharing!

Jena Isle said...

Lubna, now I want to read the book. The author seems to have discovered spirituality in action.

I like also the reply regarding atheists. Indeed, people don't want to be preached to.

Thanks for the heads up.