Refracted by Sheila Deeth is a book where religion meets existential thought, wrapped in beauty. The novel is, technically, science fiction, but it is far more of a love story spun through history, theology and the human spirit.
The tale in Refracted is woven through a series of vignettes, always revolving around two people set against history and religion, which pull the thread of the story through to its conclusion, where we find one man in a pivotal life struggle.
There is a certain poignant tone lilting through the graceful prose and the reader is inexorably drawn into the mysterious and multifaceted story. Ms. Deeth pours genuine emotion into her characters and manages to convey remarkable continuity, despite the rapid changes in settings. This novel is a delicate and affecting piece of writing.
The book offers an apparent scientific explanation for the events that unfold, but the brilliant heart of the story is that details don’t matter; whatever is happening, the inspired essence would stay as heart-rending if it were a dream, past life remembrance, or as the author depicts.
The only flaw I found in the book was the occasional modern language usage in the historic passages; it was a bit distracting and sometimes jarred me out of the narrative. But such a defect can be easily overlooked considering the total quality of Refracted.
I can only give this book my highest recommendation.