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4 Mar 2009

Postmarked Baltimore

Postmarked Baltimore is written by Jeff LeJeune and published by Broadmoor Books an imprint of Sterling House Publisher, the novel is both religious and philosophical, and 214 pages in length including prologue.

Jeff LeJeune changed the direction of his life after he survived a deadly disease at 21. He is now a teacher at St. Louis Catholic High School in Lake Charles, LA, where he was recently named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction. Mr LeJeune has also written a fantasy novel, The Final Chase, which was his first book published, also with Sterling House.

The cover art for Postmarked Baltimore was created by Brandon M. Bittner, it depicts the close up of what appears to be cream paper or parchment with a red ribbon just off centre lying landscape with a bow at the centre of the front cover and encompassing through the back cover. The title ‘Postmarked Baltimore’ is coloured red centre top of the cover while the authors name is also red at the bottom. There is also a small review by author John Ed Bradley. The back cover however does not contain a synopsis, but in fact two reviews and a biography of the author, Jeff LeJeune.

Father Perry Burns lived a solitary life but before that there was Noel, the love of his life, the woman he’d do anything for, she was the one, she was his but for Father Perry Burns she no longer existed. Here we see two sides to the main character, Perry Burns, a teacher, a man in love doing everything he can to be with the woman he loves and, Father Perry Burns a man tormented by the inner demons of his past and trying everything to forget, until the day 15 years later when he finds a later from Noel, ‘Postmarked Baltimore’.

Postmarked Baltimore is a story namely of journey’s, of the journey through life ever complicated, of the journey of a relationship tormented by truth and lies and the journey into man-hood, of growing up, experiencing life and the real world seeing how good and at the same time evil it can be, making a stand and taking the right path.

It is our past and our parents who shape who we become in the world, how we handle truths and lies, good and evil; they teach us to protect those who we love and that self sacrifice is the only sacrifice one should make, and yet nothing but life prepares us for dealing with our inner conflicts.

Postmarked Baltimore reminds us that memories can be both healthy and fatal, and that it can only take one to either make or break you. Perry Burns traded one ring for another in becoming Father Perry Burns, but at what cost? What really occurred 15 years ago?

We all die in the end, but our journey of up’s and down’s, positives and negatives, starts and finishes is also full of life and death. We are the phoenix on a journey through life; there is no destination just the stops we make along the way. It’s a never ending cycle of learning from the mistakes we make.

Jeff LeJeune is a wonderful author who has created highly believable characters and situations that you will often be left thinking of similar moments having occurred in your own life or someone you may know. The writing flows easy and makes for a quick read as the chapters aren’t too long or drawn out. I’d recommend Postmarked Baltimore to anyone aged 16 or over, and I would even recommend this book to anyone wanting to find a book to get them back into reading. I give Postmarked Baltimore 4.5 out of 5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley

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