In Search of Samhain by Michael Darkgarten
What is life? What does it mean? What is the point? These are all questions that run through the unnamed main character’s head. Taking the long drive from Minnesota to Seattle is just the beginning of his journey. Samantha Hainie was a green-eyed beauty. She managed to work her way into his heart and soul, and losing her devastated him. Not understanding why things have to happen the way they do, he is full of sadness and anger. He barely wants to continue on, but he made a promise; one he intends to keep. She never wanted to be buried…the thought of it disgusted her. No, she wanted her ashes spread in the water of her favorite place, Leo Carillo State Beach, on the day of her birth. So off he sets with his RV and their German Shepherd Sammy, off to Seattle to start his trek down the Pacific Coast Highway to Samantha’s final resting place, but as the days count down to October 31st, he begins to realize this trip may have been more about him than he realized.
In Search of Samhain: Journals of the Cosmic Vagrant is, in many ways, a coming of age story. You learn about the main character’s history, his life, his love. You also see how broken he is after losing the love of his life. Michael Darkgarten wrote his main character well-you learn everything about him (except his name), and you really feel his pain. You also feel his joy in remembering his life and realizing that everything happens for a reason. You know when he manages to find his peace and understanding in the end. The story is very good, but at times the writing feels disjointed. It is almost like two different people wrote the book. There are a lot of adjectives; the descriptions Darkgarten uses help paint a perfect picture in your mind, but there are also instances when he uses too many and it distracts you from the story. It does make the book hard to read in places but once you get through some of the tough parts, the rest of the book is enjoyable. Darkgarten takes you on a journey of discovery and reflection. His character is dealing with emotions we all have felt at some point in our lives as he faces the same problems we have all faced. It is nice to watch the protagonist come full circle and find his peace. It gives you hope and reminds you there are better days ahead.
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