Recommended Reads: ‘Eternal White’ explores meaning of life — and death

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Eternal White, by T. Furuyama

“So this is Heaven.” Hershel Byne, a math teacher observes his surroundings as he angrily enters the afterlife. Heartbroken, feeling he was snatched away from loving family and friends before his time, Hershel begins to explore what author T. Furuyama has waiting in the vastness of Eternal White.Is eternal peace as wonderful as its promise? And what of the connection with those left behind? What is to become of them? Can Hershel still help from the invisible beyond?

A glimpse into this man’s life on earth shows a typical father and husband, enjoying the joys and tribulations of raising teenage daughters with his wife, who is the love of his life. His friends are an interesting array of neighbors and acquaintances. He enjoys teaching math to his students. Busy with his life, he spends little time pondering prospects of death other than playing with math puzzles like Pascal’s Wager and Schrödinger’s cat, which he delightfully postulates. Then there is a sudden intrusion of fate.

Hershel’s life is over, and now he is confronted with an emotional journey filled with dangers to the heart and soul. The life stories shared by the people he meets along the way are gripping tales of woe and joy, desperation and love, and it is their experiences that paint the eternity that surrounds each of them. As Ben in Heaven muses, “That’s the thing about being human, we always want what we don’t have; and once we have it, we miss the time when we didn’t.” Hershel is not ready for eternity yet. He has caught a glimpse of trouble ahead for his daughter in the world of the living, and he is determined to do what very few in the Eternal Whitehave ever done. He is determined to find the way to reach out and help her.

This refreshing story mixes a smart, fast-paced action novel with a thought provoking and sometimes emotionally charged exploration of deep life questions. Debates of these tantalizing questions bring on answers that generate even more haunting questions begging for response. You don’t need a background of mathematical study to appreciate this philosophical contemplation about the meaning of life, and questions about God and religions. At times very humorous, at times poignant, author T. Furuyama beautifully writes such very human characters and exciting situations.

Eternal White is this author’s second book. He has a PhD in genetics and conducted high profile research for twenty years. Now he delightfully applies to fiction writing both the magic of science and his awe of the natural world. Hershel’s discoveries will linger in the readers’ thoughts long after the final page. You can find more information about the author and his books at www.tfuruyamabooks.com.

— By Wendy Kendall

Wendy Kendall is a writer, project manager, wedding officiant and volunteer at the Edmonds Library

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