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Limbo Jubilee by Grendolyn Peach Soleil – A Magical Novella
Limbo Jubilee by Grendolyn Peach Soleil is a perfect blend of magical realism, humanity, and a raw, intimate look at life, loss, love, and mental illness.
5/5

Limbo Jubilee by Grendolyn Peach Soleil is a perfect blend of magical realism, humanity, and a

raw, intimate look at life, loss, love, and mental illness.

“Much like the mermaids, I was not built to exist in the human world.”

I received a copy of Limbo Jubilee book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are, of course, my own. 

Limbo Jubilee Book Review

Title

Limbo Jubilee

Author(s)

Grendolyn Peach Soleil was born in the land of sweet tea and Sunday suppers. Drawn to the mysteries of human nature, she earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Grendolyn moonlights as a writer because it’s good medicine for her soul. She carries the folk magic of Appalachia in her heart everywhere she goes. Grendolyn is a sucker for twisted fairy tales, all things vintage, and tales of true love. She lives a merry life in the desert where adventure is around every corner. Grendolyn loves hiking, camping, cooking, watching horror movies, and playing her mandolin.

In Limbo Jubilee, her debut novella, Grendolyn explores the lonely frontiers of the human soul. She loves transforming painful experiences, conjuring new realities, exploring the thin space in between worlds, and flirting with creature features. Grendolyn’s writing has flavors of magical realism, romance, visionary fiction, fantasy, mythology, and psychology. Grendolyn’s roots as a southern, Appalachian writer deeply influence her style of writing and story-telling. A healer at heart, Grendolyn writes to awaken, inspire, and sometimes scare her readers with the intention of helping them find healing, hope, and transformation.

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You can contact Grendolyn at grendolynpeachsoleil@yahoo.com.

Publication Date

November 1, 2019

Why I Picked It Up

To be honest, I was contacted by the author. 

Famous First Words

“I chewed my nails to the quick in a sterile waiting room.”

Book Description from Goodreads

“Like any other human, I was born into a life that I didn’t choose. For eons, I didn’t even exist. Then, in a lickety-split, I took my first breath on planet earth and walked among the earthlings on the island of stars.”

Neala’s surreal story begins in the backwoods of St. Roscoe, West Virginia. Neala’s childhood hero doesn’t have a cape or any superpowers. Aunt Betsy is a humble hero of another kind. She saves the day in a pair of red cowgirl boots and bakes apple pies in the kitchen.

Neala’s life is forever changed as she watches the slow and painful death of her Aunt Betsy. Neala’s grief sparks raw emotions and exposes her family’s generational struggle with trauma and addiction. Neala leaves the sleepy town of St. Roscoe in search of transformation. She longs for a love that will heal her wounds.

When Neala meets Brick, she is tempted to cross the imaginary line, but she finds herself in a dangerous limbo. Neala’s spooky voyage transports her to the fringes of reality where she flirts with some creepy-crawly surprises, including the crystal ball of space and time and a cosmic jukebox that loves to croon. While a macabre sickness hunts Neala down, she experiments with what it means to be human. Neala’s panic escalates with every page, but could her paranoia be grounded in wisdom?

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My Thoughts & Takeaways

To try to sum up Limbo Jubilee would be impossible. And, that’s not a bad thing at all. Soleil has a way with words that makes you sit back and think “Damn, I wish I could write like this.” 

This novella is not only beautifully written, but it’s incredibly unique. Written as a fictional memoir based on Neala’s life, loss, love, mental illness, attachment, abandonment, and more. 

And this is before you even add in the magical realism and fantasy elements which only makes it that much more magical and mysterious.

Favorite Quotes

To have so many passages that I highlighted in such a small book says a lot about this book and how beautifully it was written. Here are just a small selection of my favorites:

“My heart was poisoned by the knowledge that God allowed such terrible things to happen.”

“The kitchen was me and Betsy’s special place. It was the only place in Appalachia that us lowly women ever called our own.”

“I was unable to wake up from the nightmare that had become my life.”

“Even when an emotional tornado raged inside me, I projected a calm demeanor.”

“…but I longed for simple miracles that had been lost along the way. Readin’ tea leaves,
brewin’ tonics, and livin’ off the land like my granny Ruth Eileen sure sounded like the good life to me.”

“We finally understood that life was one big web of suffering, and human pain rippled and spread like a disease. All of us were destined to become casualties in someone else’s war.”

“I was cursed with the parentified child disease.”

“As I got older and wiser, I developed a
hatred for alcohol. I never wanted to become a slave to addiction. I never wanted to hurt the
people I loved.”

“I fueled the fire of emotional dysregulation. My emotions swallowed me whole while I died
powerlessly against their will.”

“Much like the mermaids, I was not built to exist in the human world.”

“I was sick of recycled dreams. The glory of motherhood was a worn-out story passed down from generation to generation to warp human minds and appeal to their fragile egos. Everyone who had a child treated that child as an extension of themselves. Children were treated like poor canines gripped by invisible leashes. Children were powerless pawns in a game of delusion.”

Rating

5/5 stars

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Ashley Hubbard

Ashley Hubbard

Ashley Hubbard is a blogger and freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee focusing on sustainability, travel, books, plants, coffee, veganism, mental health, and more. She has two other websites - wild-hearted.com and odditiesandcuriositiestravel.com

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