The Glorious Beyond
Kim has the best friend ever – she and Sharon have been friends since elementary schools and have had each other’s back the whole time. Then Kim marries the best man ever. Kevin is all she wanted, and they are about to celebrate ten years of marriage. However, before their big move to follow Kevin’s career, she returns home to find his dead body, and all their plans are shattered. She turns to her best friend to find solace and comfort. Kim even becomes close to her mother, who relinquished her parenting rights many years before. When her mom notices that Kim was not making any progress on her own, she asks Kim to join therapy. Kim convinces Sharon to join her in group sessions. It comes to light that Sharon has some traumatic events in her past that still grieve her and fill her with guilt. Kim sees this as the healing they both need to find their glorious beyond, but it seems that some hurts are not so easily forgiven.
Adams’ writes this complicated story with flashbacks to illustrate how characters arrived in the current situation and provide some foreshadowing to later events. Though a couple times confusing as to the time frame of a passage, this style helps to make sense of Kim’s pain and suffering. Readers can sense the love Kim had for Kevin and the unbelievable loss of him and betrayal at being considered the suspect. The author relays the black experience without being preachy, and gives readers pause for thoughtful reflection. Further, Adams’s description of the therapy sessions provide not only accurate depictions of the power of support and meditation, but also a glimpse into the thoughts of the main characters, Kim and Sharon. It is a good blend of healing and mystery, with a hopeful ending, in spite of the horrific twist at the end.