Reviewer Sandra Shwayder Sanchez: Sandra is
a retired attorney and co-founder of a small non-profit publishing
collective: The Wessex Collective with whom she has published two short fiction collections
(A Mile in These Shoes and Three Novellas) and one
Her most recent novel, The Secret of A Long Journey is soon to be released by Floricanto Press in April 2012 and her first novel, The Nun, originally published by Plain View Press in 1992 is being reissued in a 2nd Edition with additional material by PVP in March 2012.
Author: Kourtney Heintz
This debut novel will blow
your mind . . . literally. The story is about a young woman,
Kai, with the gift and the curse of telepathy. She feels the pain
(literally) of the children she is charged by her job in social work
and called by her heart to help and care for.
Their feelings and
fears assail her brain like a veritable blizzard. Kai falls in love
with and marries Oliver, a young man living with a haunting and
hurtful secret. The complex story that combines romance,
mystery and psychology is told from their alternating perspectives.
The writing is brilliant and the reader will also feel the pain, hear
the voices and see what Kai and Oliver see, hear and feel. It
starts in New York City with its multitude of voices. Then Oliver
decides that to save Kai from her suicidal thoughts inspired by all
the pain in the world that she wants to but cannot prevent, he must
take her back to what he hopes will be the relative quiet of his
grandfather’s cabin near in a small town in Wisconsin where he grew
up, suffered his own secret pain and experienced his first love.
accomplish what he is certain is a necessary move to save Kai’s
life, he must force her because she is unwilling to leave the
children she feels responsible for and the trip becomes more like an
actual kidnapping. This activates Kai’s anger. Then Oliver’s
reconnection with his high school love, Micky, who has clearly been
waiting for him to return to her, activates Kai’s jealousy. For
most of the duration of this novel anger alternates with love in
dominating their marriage. Once she resigns herself to staying in the
small Wisconsin town, Kai gets a part-time job at a daycare center
where she ends up looking out for Micky’s son Lukas who also has a
gift for telepathy. Kai and Lukas bond and when Lukas goes missing
Kai puts herself in danger to find and rescue him. As the story
tracks forward and flashes back, the reader is let into the minds of
the loved ones Kai and Oliver once knew and lost, as well as
deeper into the minds of these two.
Their conversations, both spoken and mindread (that gift again) are sometimes extremely comedic, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes sweet. Kai’s brother with his own surreal gift of entering the dreams of others is introduced and plays an important role. The secret Oliver has kept about his own father is revealed after a suspenseful buildup. And in the end, love prevails. The Six Train to Wisconsin combines a brilliantly conceived plot with deep psychological insight and compelling writing to produce a wonderful reading experience.