Read what people are saying about "Past Lives"
(I love how readers/rewiers easily forget that this is a fictional story)
Amazon customer rated it 5 stars on 5 on Amazon
Tom Barczak rated it 5 stars out of 5
Between the joys of life and the tragedies of death threads one woman's resurfaced memories of past lives. Rich in description, it is an intimate journey through history that will captivate the senses.
Shannon Schoolcraft rated it 5 stars on 5 on Amaon
This book was my first book by the author and it's an interesting read. I like how this author wrote the past lives leading up to the Epilogue. Also the author is talented and sure knows how to make a book intriguing.
Jim Goforth rated it 5 stars on 5 on Amazon
My previous experience with the work of Chantal Bellehumeur was with the psychological thriller, Just. Another. Common. Killer, which was a fascinating take on the Jack the Ripper legend. This book, Past Lives, is an entirely different kettle of fish, something far removed from that prior novel.
Past Lives is something of a most intriguing memoir, one which delves deep into the myriad past lives experienced by the author herself.
After being constantly plagued with incredibly vivid dreams, that seem to be recalled more as memories than actual dreams, complete with strange occurrences and historical aspects that she herself had no familiarity with, or reason to be dreaming of, the author came to the possible conclusion that she wasn’t actually dreaming at all, but something else. That instead, she was experiencing a series of past lives. Consulting with psychologists, university professors and hypnotists confirmed that indeed, this was what was happening, and this book is the result of these curious nocturnal events, the retelling of actual Past Lives.
Since the timeline is immense, spanning from London in the 1400s to Canada in the 1900s, this fascinating insight into events unravelled from dreams as past lives, reads as a historical opus blended with memoirs/biographical tales, and the assortment of hardships suffered by folks over each and every one of those periods means life (or lives) experienced by the protagonist is no bed of roses. From primitive toilets and sporadic bathing, to a forbidden love with a terrible end result in these earliest accounts, to difficult childbirths and the horrors and loss experienced in times of war in the later ones, the stories of each past life are recounted. The subject matter isn’t always pleasant-naturally, these were very hard times for everybody concerned-but the writer’s style is engaging and smooth, and easy to read.
Recommended for all those who would like to explore the concept of past lives, whether reincarnation exists and of course, all those who have an avid interest in history as well, for Past Lives is certainly rich in that aspect.
Quite a remarkable book, indeed.
Doug Simpson rated it 5 stars out of 5 on Amazon
The author experienced numerous vivid dreams from the distant past and eventually rounded up the courage to reveal this to a trusted psychology professor. He advised her that her dreams appeared to be glimpses from previous lives and recommended she visit a psychologist who was also a professional hypnotist. The sessions that followed confirmed in great detail that her dreams were memories retained in her subconscious mind from past lifetimes. Later, she hired a genealogist to find historical records if possible confirming the identities of individuals mentioned in her dreams and hypnotic sessions. He succeeded in confirming some of these past lifetimes. The author herself was also able to locate some physical evidence from her most recent past lifetime, including tombstones.
I am a believer! I have no doubts whatsoever that these uncovered past lives are really real. This book is an eye-opener for anyone wondering if reincarnation is real. It is!
Sylvie Stewart rated it 5 stars on 5 on Amazon
This story was completely engrossing and original. I absolutely love the premise of retelling past life experiences, but that's not all that makes this book fascinating. The very matter-of-fact delivery of each life's evolution lent it such credibility, to the point where the book felt much more non-fiction than fiction - yet it maintained a delicious fictional pull. You really have to read it to understand - and I recommend that you do!
The story is told in a series of chapters that act as memoirs of the protagonist's previous lives. Each one is filled with interesting details about the particular time and place in history. It's clear that the author spent countless hours researching in order to find the appropriate details to weave into the storyline. I felt like I got history lesson along with my story!
And the fact that we're following the same character throughout the entire book, despite the completely different life experiences, lets the reader maintain a strong personal investment in the heroine across all chapters.
This was an intriguing, thought-provoking, and thoroughly entertaining read. Well done!
I was given a review copy of this book.
Amazon Customer gave it 5 stars on 5 on Amazon
It was a good story and I enjoyed it. I finished reading it within a few days. Every chapter was unique, with its own plot and characters.
Chantal did a good job in terms of describing the way of life of each era and also a good description of the objects and things so we can have a better visual in our minds.
Angie Martin gave it 5 stars on 5 on Amazon
Past Lives is a very interesting memoir about discovering past lives and exploring reincarnation through hypnosis. I've never read a memoir quite like it before. I don't know too much about reincarnation, but it is a fascinating topic. Ms. Bellehumeur does a fantastic job of guiding the reader through her own experiences. The historical aspects add a unique flair to the story - it's almost like watching someone time travel through the ages. It's not all puppy dogs and rainbow, though; there are plenty of obstacles and adversities to overcome. But, overall, it is an interesting, breathtaking, and wonderful book. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, you're sure to enjoy!
Mark Makey gave it 5 stars on 5 on Amazon
I've read and enjoyed more than one of the author's books in the past, and this one is the best yet. It's interesting, has unique characters, and deserves no less than the five stars I'm rating it.
Jane gave it 5 stars on 5 on Amazon
This was good and held my interest. It's not exactly a "feel good" story but it rolls right along and the history is extremely interesting. It's not just one story, but many stories, of one soul, moving from one life to the next. The modern day girl is hypnotized and is able to remember her past lives, reaching far back into the Dark Ages, which wasn't such a hot time to live! Most of her lives were fraught with injustice, danger, and loss, but she had many great joyful moments as well. I found once I got going I couldn't put it down.
Stephen Swartz gave it 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon
I tend to skip introductions and so I began reading this book thinking it was a work of fiction, a novel. Once I realized, several chapters in, that it was meant as a kind of memoir, I had to read it in a new way. The introduction explains how this book came to be written: following sessions of hypnosis in an attempt to uncover previous lives lived. I've read many non-fiction books on the subject of reincarnation and have always been fascinated by the idea, so I was interested to see what this memoir had to say. There is not, however, a lot of philosophy on reincarnation in this but, rather, just the lives as the author lived them.
Like many of us who have vivid dreams and perhaps wonder about their origin, whether they might be glimpses of past lives or simply twists on our present lives, the author here has written about those lives, her lives. As fiction, this might lack the depth of description and action that a reader of novels would come to expect. However, as a unique kind of memoir, I found it compelling enough in its recounting of those lives. I especially liked the middle lives, which took me into the horrid years of London in the plague and then the Great Fire.
Through those lives we come to understand the connections the narrator has had with various people and how events seem to unfold throughout the stream of time. I'm not sure how "karma" works in such a plan, nor have I studied esoteric traditions enough to truly understand, but this author took me along with her and showed me that progression in a passionate way. If this were a novel, we might expect a plot to go this way or that way with plot twists, but as a memoir, real events happen as they happen. That does not always fit neatly into an action-filled storyline of fiction.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in past lives, of course, but also to those history buffs who wish to experience one soul's experiences through time. Bellehumeur's earlier horror stories were how I was introduced to this author and I highly recommend them, as well.
reader 2010 gave it 5 stars out of 5 on Amazon
This was a hard one to put down. It drew me in and kept me reading. The style of writing makes it very difficult to keep in mind it is a novel. And the detail helped keep the sense of reality going. The author did a fantastic job with the whole premises. Excellent read.
Jay Krish gave it 5 stars out of 5 on Amazon
What a delightful book. When I started the book, I really had no idea what was going on. But it really pulls you in. The past lives of the main character are well threshed out and have their own personality. And the plotlines for each story are very different and interesting. The author must have done a lot of research before writing this book. I think the best part is that it is completely believable. That’s how well-written the stories are.
Each time period has so much information about the goings on during that time and gives you a kind of coming down through history kind of feel. I enjoyed the book thoroughly and would recommend it.
Rogue Reviews gave it 5 stars out of 5 on Amazon
I've read several novels by Chantal Bellehumeur before but I have to say this is her masterpiece. Past Lives tells the incredible story of the author's own past. I strongly believe in reincarnation and have felt those 'I've experienced this before, I know this place' moments quite often so when I started to read Bellehumeur's story imagine my joy! In her prologue she says she's been shy to talk about her dreams and feelings out of fear what the others might think about her. I can so relate her! In this modern world too many people have forgotten the past and the beliefs that used to be everyday cake to everyone, and even though they might secretly share her thoughts they might belittle it in front of the others and make the person believing in reincarnation feel like a fool.
The story begins in late 1400s London, throwing the author's life in London's developing city life during the next 500 years or so before taking her to Canada where she still lives.
Interesting doesn't even begin to describe this story, this is so much more. A wonderful journey through time that reminds us that we are not just we, but a part of something bigger, older line. That history lives in us as well as we might have been living in it. For me this was an excellent read and I can highly recommend it!
Jeffrey Overall rated it 5 stars out of 5 on Amazon
This book is great! The times and places were all very well described - I actually learned a lot about different historical events. And the characters all felt real to me - right down to the supernatural overtones. I'm actually going to read it again to make sure I didn't miss anything!