J. Schlenker: The Innkeeper on the Edge of Paris
Leaving her husband and dysfuntional marriage, Isa packs suitcases with her belongings and heads for France, her grandmother’s birthplace. “In a separate bag, she carried her laptop, electronic reader and two of her most cherished books, Pride and Prejudice and Somewhere in Time.” Isa hopes for true romance and magical across time relationships. And she is not disappointed….She would fix her broken life.”
Isa is on a spiritual journey. Author Jerri (pronounced Jera) told me that her writing is as well. , “I write a lot of my experiences into my characters. I don’t think I’ve ever written a book that doesn’t have a spiritual component. Writing is a part of my spiritual journey.”
Once Isa arrives at the inn she chose outside of Paris, she feels strangely at home. Then she has a dream-vision of a person dressed in old fashioned clothing, tending to a fire in a fireplace that no longe exists. Shockingly, when the person turns and looks at her, Isa’s sees her own face, before the woman’s image disappears. Both women begin to realize that they are one soul, their lives, hopes and dreams connected across time.
J. Schlenker chose reincarnation as a vehicle for Isa to reconnect with a past life, rather than time travel. Through stripping away the layers of time, Isa begins to confront and resolve the problems in her life. The author believes time is an illusion.
I asked the author about reincarnation. “I honestly can’t think of a time I haven’t believed in reincarnation in my almost seventy years. The book started from a past-life reading I received which was spot on regarding an incident that occurred in this life…. I was told that in this particular past life, I was an innkeeper in France.
Jerri (pronounced Jera) has visited France and her vivid descriptions of places and food brought back wonderful memories for me of when my husband and I lived there. Her descriptions are magical and I asked her if she felt that France was magical. She agreed, but gave a caveat.
“Yes, it is magical, but I think where I live, in the backwoods of Kentucky, is also magical. Where I live, I observe the magic of nature. In France, I partook in the magic of the culture: the food, the buildings, the history, and the pride of the people in their country. Regardless of where we are, we make our own magic.”
Isa books a room in a small inn in a village outside Paris. Jerri places her there so the novel’s characters can can get to know each other more intimately, becoming involved in Isa’s past life. The village comes to life in both time lines with vibrant setting descriptions. With a degree in art, this talent is put to use not only in her written settings but in the absolutely beautiful covers of her novels, which she design herself.
Isa falls in love with French food when she arrives and who can blame her? I did the same thing when my husband and I moved to Paris. I was never disappointed in the food at restaurants or cafes but our favorites were the patisseries, bakeries, where we bought amazing desserts and, of course, the classic baguettes—the baguettes each morning. Here is a classic baguette recipe. Make the traditional long loaves, try round loaves or rolls.