THE SOUL CATCHER
(Bodes Well Publishing, 2021)
Set in modern India in a dimension where time and space are fluid, Monica Bhide’s The Soul Catcher, a novel in stories, is a mosaic narrative about destiny, grief, loss, faith, love, and sisterhood. It takes us on a magical journey that begins with an unspeakable tragedy, and concludes with a surprising resolution. It chronicles the life of Yamini Goins — the Soul Catcher — a woman who transports souls from one body to another to keep people alive.
In Yamini’s India, one set in harsh realities and far removed from tourist traps and movie cliches, anguish and death battle second opportunities and powerful prayers in an eternal dance in which magic and the impossible are mere elements of everyday life. Is death the end? What are the consequences of prolonging life by supernatural means? How does pain shape our identity? A violent, touching, unique narrative with a great sense of place, The Soul Catcher features a diverse cast of complex characters – pain healers and lovers, parents and broken souls – that bring life and death to the page.
The Soul Catcher explores that which makes us human—the desire to live, the fear of death, the longing for love and the release that comes with the acceptance of fate. Throughout the dark overtones of the interwoven tales of this book, an electric current of transcendence echoes from every page as each character attempts to shift his or her destiny to the whims of their hearts.
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The Soul Catcher is a mosaic novel packed with resilience and grief, magic and violence, love and loss. Bhide brings India to the page, wrapped in a beautiful sari but with tears in its eyes, a prayer in its mouth, and blood on its hands. This is a narrative about blessings that are curses and how pain changes us. A must read.
I couldn’t stop reading this haunting, beautifully written book. Like a fairy tale, it begins with death and ends with life; Bhide’s wise and empathetic voice guides us along the way, taking us on a journey through a series of interconnected lives, weaving them into an unforgettable story of love, redemption, and above all, kindness in all its forms—even the one we fear the most.
The Soul Catcher will grab your attention and seep into the corners of your imagination from the very first page. Monica Bhide has woven a tale that sharply explores of the emotions we all face as humans moving through a sometimes confusing world. Rife with rich imagery of an India that is at once real and fantastical, this magical novel will draw you in, hungering for more until every last page is turned.
Expect the unexpected in this rich novel from Monica Bhide. Shimmering prose is a hallmark of Bhide’s writing and nowhere is it more true than this novel.
Woven together with a tenuous strand of destiny, death, and beyond, The Soul Catcher, is a collection of interconnected tales as dark as they are full of hope and redemption. Monica Bhide creates a compelling work that takes the reader through an epic journey through myth and magic that examines our relationship with fear, death, life and love. A must read!