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Friday, July 20, 2007

Fate: Here's Why We All Believe In It, Even If Just a Little Bit

The Simple Touch of Fate:
How the Hand of Fate Touched
Our Lives Forever
Edited By Arlene Uslander and
Brenda Warneka
ISBN: 0-595-30283=1

Reviewed by Glenda A. Bixler,
Independent Press Book Reviewer

Do you believe in fate? Fate, “the supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events,” as defined by the dictionary, is known under many names¾destiny, kismet, predestination, foreordainment, foredoom, luck, or just coincidence¾and is often described by individuals around the world. Arlene Uslander and Brenda Warneka have experienced acts of fate in their lives. In The Simple Touch of Fate: How the Hand of Fate Touched our Lives Forever, they share not only their own stories but have gathered over fifty real stories by real people, in a thought-provoking anthology, that leaves you with one question: if it wasn’t fate, how and why did these events happen?

As a lover of suspense and mysteries, I enjoy reading or hearing about events or activities that leave us wondering and questioning. I especially enjoy “little” acts that happen. For instance, was it a coincidence that one of the authors chosen for this anthology, Patricia Patteson, had also been included in an anthology, Mist on the Mon, that had sat on my bookshelf for many years, unread, but was immediately pulled and enjoyed when it was included in this book?

Or was it fate that a daily newsletter I read before I began to write this review, covered a mysterious life-saving event, but in that story, the writer attributed her story to guardian angels? Personally, I no longer question such things. In fact, based upon a book, As You Wish by Christine Massot Simpson, a resident of Canada, for whom I had the privilege to help edit and publish her book, I now use her phrase, “A God Incident” whenever I confront such events.

Let me share a little about my favorites from The Simple Touch of Fate. If you don’t believe in fate, then these short stories just may force you to reconsider­is there something or someone, somewhere that controls events in our lives?

Jacob! Jacob! Reborn. The date was September 11, 2001. Jacob Herbst often traveled by plane; however, work-related activities prevented his taking a scheduled flight from Boston’s Logan Airport at 8:45, American Airlines, Flight 11, to Los Angeles. How do you thank a man who could not make an important meeting, causing an unexpected delay, for saving your life?

Desert Boomerang. Two soldiers meet in Iraq; one is standing guard at a barren traffic control point and helps the other by giving him directions. Months later, the same two soldiers meet at the site of an accident on a deserted road and the favor is returned. Only this time, lives are saved! For the man just happened to be part of a medical unit...

We all Cross Paths for a Reason. A birth mother and her now-grown daughter are reunited through an automobile accident and a woman’s willingness to work overtime. Just a coincidence?

Time for Life. A man and a woman, members of one family, but located in different places­both trying to catch the train­fail in their efforts due to various reasons. They missed the most disastrous train crash in the United Kingdom in 42 years.

“Honor, Courage, and Commitment”: Saving Jack Roush. When a small plane is in trouble, it happens to hit near the home of an ex-marine, specifically trained “to save a pilot in an upside-down plane from a watery grave.”

Grandmother Spirits. In a time of family distress, a woman prays to the spirits of grandmothers for the needs of a family. Was it a coincidence or a direct response to prayer that allowed a son just arriving in Hiroshima to be able to make a free call to his mother?

The Angel That Couldn’t Fly. My favorite! A wonderful answer to why the chicken crossed the road...

Uslander and Warneka have created an excellent, well-diversified anthology that provides heart-warming, happy, life-saving and sometimes-unbelievable tales. They are presented with an interesting continuity, yet broken with small offerings of people’s own definitions of fate. I found it informative, flawlessly presented to allow readers to form their own conclusions regarding these stories from “real people.” For those who continuously wonder... and search... I found this a must-read!

This books can be purchased for $16.95 on and other online bookstores, or ordered from the publisher 1-800-288-4677 or any brick-and-mortar bookstore.

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