Thursday, February 23, 2012

Betrayal by Michele Kallio

Michele Kallio’s Betrayal is a haunting novel based both in present day New Brunswick and in Sixteenth Century England.  Modern day Lydia is an intelligent, kind, and beautiful woman that leads a great life with her Physician boyfriend.  Raised by her cold father, Lydia never knew her mother or her mother’s family.  After her father’s untimely death Lydia begins having nightmares that seem all too realistic.  In her dreams, Lydia finds herself in the body of Elisabeth, a lady’s maid to Lady Anne Boleyn. Lady Anne happens to be the mistress (and later wife) of King Henry VIII.  Believing her dreams to be only nightmares, Lydia ignores them for as long as she can.  However, Lydia soon starts experiencing waking dreams and begins having strange sensations of deja vu.  The more she finds herself in Elisabeth’s world the more Lydia realizes that there are more to her dreams than meet the eye.  Could they be trying to tell her something about her past or is Lydia going insane? 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading every bit of Michele Kallio’s Betrayal.  Kallio did a terrific job in creating not one, but two different worlds.  Lydia’s life in modern day New Brunswick is very realistic.  Kallio painted her setting in a way that made it very easy to imagine.  I could visualize the restaurants, buildings, and scenery described.  Reading about Lydia’s adventures in Bar Harbor made me want to research the town.  (It is real and looks just as beautiful as Kallio described!)  It was the infusion of little details (like those mentioned above) that made Betrayal feel complete.  I was especially fond of the historical aspects of the novel.  Kallio’s knowledge of sixteenth century England was definitely noticed and appreciated.  Everything was well researched, from the various Sixteenth Century social stations and popular style, to religion and politics. 

Betrayal opened my eyes to a whole new world of dreams and the meanings behind them.  In the book, Lydia first starts seeing a Psychologist specializing in dreams.  After hearing her speak on a tape recorder about her dreams, the Dr. feels that they are more than typical nightmares.  Fearing that they are occurring because of a repressed memory, the Psychologist requests to hypnotize Lydia.  Lydia must decide if she really wants to know more about her past and if she is ready to deal with the consequences of what remains hidden. 

Betrayal easily switches between the lives of Lydia and Elisabeth.  I was surprised at how flawlessly each new chapter changed gears.  While reading about Elisabeth I found myself speculating on what would happen next with Lydia.  Furthermore, while reading about what Lydia was going through made me think about Elisabeth and her world.  As the book progressed, the story of the two women seemed to converge.  I feel that Kallio did a terrific job in meshing her two story lines together. 

Michele Kallio has a gem in her novel, Betrayal.  Embedded in it you will find a great deal of history, romance, mystery, and suspense.  I recommend Betrayal to anyone looking for a great read!  Good luck putting it down!

iUniverse and has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, Betrayal, for the purpose of review.