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Thresholds is an artfully contrived novella depicting the passage from the twentieth to the twenty-first century and from the second millennium to the third. The setting is, appropriately, Rome, The Eternal City, on the last day of 1999 and into the dawning hours of the year 2000. The author skillfully waeves a series of sub-plots, with finely drawn characters, into a unified tapestry, covering the wide spectrum of the people of Rome, the urbi comprising the orbe, the city is the world. There are strong echoes of Dante, with a Roman cab driver named Virgil guiding the protagonist about Rome, including a descent into the catacombs. He later surrenderd his charge to the graces of Donna Bice (a thinly disguised Beatrice), who guides the book’s central character through the sacred confines of the Vatican, climaxing in the Sistine Chapel.
There are several romances which come to birth, blossom, and fade within the pages of Thresholds, and the reader is exposed to a rich canvas which is generouslyy peopled with all tyhe human emotions: love, hate, jealously, deceit, compassion, and greed. Some insightful observations about the human comedy, past, present, and future provide a kind of basso continuo running throughout. It is good writing and good reading, a worthy companion as onee crosses the thresholds that lie ahead.
William Graham Cole, author of The Restless Quest of Modern Man
Oxford University Press
Weaving a tapestry of several parallel and overlapping stories into a seamless narrative, Thresholds offers “a growing intensity throughout the book” that “promises a bright future,” observes Theodore Gross, author of The Heroic Ideal in American Literature.
BOOK MAGAZINE describes Thresholds as a work which “takes flight” with characters who “become real and complex” in a way that “produces a sound, fictional study of one monumental day,” and of his writing critics have furtheres commented:
Auther Jeff Helgeson focuses his lens on the ancient city of Rome on the eve of the new millennium to give a glimpse into people’s lives and their reflections. On a day of history that encourages memory, Thresholds ties threads of history into personal stories showing how choices and decisions can impactlives.
Marcy Weydemuller is a free-lance writer from California
Christianity And The Arts