Veronica’s Papers – by A. Colin Wright
Gerald Clayton suffering from Amnesia, receives a package of papers from Veronica, a former clinical hypnotist. She tells him they accomplish his fantasy of gathering together, on the ship Marguerite, his past loves with the two of them present, but in disguise. In hopes of discovering his own past Gerald invites the passengers to share in a mystery by guessing what, or who, they all have in common.
Book Review: Veronica’s Papers by A. Colin Wright has an amazing premise that makes the reader think about the likelihood and outcome of such an experiment in his or her own life.
Well-developed characters like Gerald Clayton, who finds himself in a nursing–home after losing his memory; his wife Elizabeth; and Veronica Castell (who has assembled papers documenting Gerald’s life along with other people from Gerald’s past) help the reader understand Gerald’s and Veronica’s thought processes.
The unlikely setting is a cruise ship named Marguerite. This ship is of British registry, sailing out of Southampton to a variety of destinations like the Azores and the Canary Islands. Passengers receive an invitation (Compliments of ‘Creative Travel’) awarding them a fully paid seven-day cruise for two that includes a special program geared to meet their individual needs and interests.
The intensity of the author’s style of writing is evident when he writes: “Humans are like individual atoms jostling in time and space in a constantly changing relationship, and every so often what we call chance brings together those who’ve met before so that we wonder whether there isn’t some further purpose. But what of the coincidences that fail to become evident? The odds against Janet’s being on the other side of that train were almost as great, but we’d never have known we were even close. How often have we been in such situations without knowing it? Only our ignorance prevents us from calling those coincidences and from seeing the basic oneness of life.”
A. Colin Wright causes the reader to think and question mortality with its limitations in relationship to moral and spiritual concerns. This passage is an example: “The tragedy is that Christianity could be so much more. Christ’s words, it seems to me, rarely limit people to a narrow morality. Rather it’s Saint Paul and those who followed, more concerned with establishing orthodoxy under the leadership of a politically powerful church-who brought a small-minded understanding to a vision that encompasses all people’s strivings. Christians simply couldn’t tolerate rivals: a pettiness repeated often enough since. Yet there’s no contradiction between the worship of pagan gods, say, and that of Christ, for the reality they represent is the same. Why couldn’t Christianity have had vision enough to see this?”
I, Theodocia McLean endorse Veronica’s Papers by A. Colin Wright as a thought–provoking work of literature that raises the question of whether or not “creation, fantasy and truth are the same”. This review was completed on October 31, 2015.