Mary De Groat
Windy City Publishers (2015)
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (04/16)
Article first published as Book Review: ‘Beyond the Last Horizon’ by Mary De Groat on Blogcritics.
“Beyond the Last Horizon” is the debut novel from Mary De Groat. The story follows the passage of five men and women, each chasing a different dream, stopping at nothing to fulfill their ambitions. The relentless pursuit of happiness is in full force, and choices are made that spin their lives out of control, to the point of no return. Their lives begin to overlap and strong bonds are created in this unlikely group; friendships deepened through the journey of self-discovery and transformation.
Carrie is the poor little rich girl who, at the age of six, becomes sole heir and will take the reins of her grandfather’s company one day. Carrie is in for the battle of her life as she fights the board of directors and others who stand in the way of her rightful inheritance. Gina, sheltered from life by her over-protective parents, grows up to be incredibly naïve and is often taken advantage of, mostly by the men in her life. Will she ever find true love? David is driven by dollar signs, neglecting his wife and children and falling into bad habits that will one day cause him to hit rock bottom. Hank has been on the streets for most of his life, born of a hooker who died during childbirth. Hank is a drug dealer, all grown up with a son of his own, a boy he will do anything for – including risking the wrath of the mob as he tries to make his way with an honest living. Sara has been married three times, and fired from four jobs, losing three years of her life wallowing in self-pity. When she finally drags herself out of the abyss, she starts a successful event planning company.
The story is inspirational and uplifting, but some difficult, dangerous, and often heartbreaking events transpire before getting to that point. The development and transformation of each character is well thought out and crafted, and I enjoyed following each one of the protagonists as they learned and grew through their experiences. Events ranging from death, prostitution, drugs and addiction, adultery, divorce, manipulation and more, were meticulously created by the author, successfully hooking the reader from the beginning, as the individual storylines were introduced and later, interwoven.
I recommend “Beyond the Last Horizon” by Mary De Groat as a five-star read. Based on the principles of “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, the story is encouraging and motivational and will without a doubt cause readers to consider and reflect upon changes made or needed in their own lives.