Free spirit Pandora is shaken by the sudden death of her mother and her discovery of a secret half-brother from across the Atlantic. When her mother's grave is disturbed, she turns detective and finds herself drawn into a world of intrigue, centring round a devious couple's plot to exploit a healing circle for their own ends. Her partner Jay's collaboration with an attractive singer and her own encounter with an old flame add to the confusion. Will she succeed in her quest to bring equilibrium to her life, and the lives of those she loves, or will the decisions she and Jay make set them up for more heartache?
Squaring Circles is Book Two in the Pandora Series. The full series is: Transforming Pandora - Pandora Series - Book One - pISBN 9781780997452 - Roundfire - 2013; Squaring Circles - Pandora Series - Book Two -pISBN 9781782797050 - Roundfire - 2014; Pandora's Gift - Pandora Series - Book Three - pISBN 9781785351754 - Roundfire - 2015.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
I like this book because it covers a lot of genres. There is a little bit of everything in the story: romance, crime, mystery, fantasy and just a little touch of the paranormal, which all go into the mix to create a wonderfully-told story. There is a great cast of characters who bring the story to life and you can almost feel the words breathe off the page as you read. I do recommend that you read the first book ‘Transforming Pandora’ before you read this book; there are a lot of characters and it is easier to know who everyone is, if you have the background from the first book.
~ Nikki Bywater, Nikki's Book4U blog
This novel is like a delectable piece of pastry. There are so many layers in the themes, characters and the plot that it becomes compelling as you read and expose more layers.
The book begins with a funeral. Pandora, the main character, has just lost her mother unexpectedly. A sombre start; but as the coffin is being lowered, one of the men lets the strap slip and the coffin falls sideways into hole. Comedy! Surely not....
This is where you begin to expect the unusual and realize that this is not a predictable story. Pandora is a healer. She has been chosen and trained to heal and comfort people, and uses musical instruments to help her in her work.
Known as “Andy”, she has many roles to play. She is partner to Jay, to whom she was previously married and then divorced. When Jay's second wife died and he and Pandora fell in love again and now live together with his five children and his mother in a large house.
Her peace has been disturbed by an attractive and seductive woman that Jay is working with at the moment. She has also discovered that someone has tampered with her mother's grave.
A man claiming to be her brother has appeared on the scene, causing a great shock and revelations of her mother's life that she had never known. As if this isn't enough, she has been writing a column for a newspaper and has been invited to go on a television panel.
The flow of the story is smooth, and the spiritual occurrences wonderfully interlinked. A friend of one of her “saplings” (her name for Jay's children) can speak to animals and informs her that the rabbits would like a larger run. The donkey has sighted the person who dug up her mother's grave and names him. And the conclusion involves an elixir being placed on the tongue of members of the Isis Circle at a full moon ceremony
The combination of romance, spirituality, drama and humour has been wonderfully written by Carolyn Mathews. ~ Grasshopper2 (Trish), www.bluewolf-reviews.com
A funeral, a mysterious stranger, a docile donkey and a set of colourful characters set against the backdrop of Glastonbury - a well known New Age community in Somerset, UK - make a fantastic yarn which Carolyn Mathews weaves with an expert hand. Not having read the first book in this series, I was worried that I would not understand what was going on - but not only did I enjoy this unpretentious, lighthearted spiritual novel and read it in a couple of days, but I managed to suspend disbelief and let myself be carried by the magical and fun story without a moment of hesitation.
Pandora, the protagonist and namesake of the first human woman created by the gods (specifically by Hephaestus and Athena on the instructions of Zeus!) is dramatic and befits her name. Our literary Pandora is a complex character, which the readers needs to warm up to, but once they do - they can follow the twists and turns in her life with much interest. As Hesiod related it, each god helped create the first Pandora by giving her unique gifts. Zeus ordered Hephaestus to mold her out of earth as part of the punishment of humanity for Prometheus' theft of the secret of fire, and all the gods joined in offering her "seductive gifts". The literary Pandora is indeed seductive, but also sensitive and strong-headed.
A great read for the holiday period - a perfect book to enjoy with a mug of mulled wine. ~ Daniela Norris, Goodreads
This story has it all: family secrets, family crises, intrigue, duplicity, legend, magic, mystery… I love the way the author has cleverly blended the many and varied forms of spirituality into the everyday lives of the characters, skilfully demonstrating how thin are the veils between this world and the dimensions beyond.
Carolyn Mathews’ writing is fast-paced and beautifully readable, with a great sense of place and a cast of truly believable characters. I won’t go into details about the story itself as I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but suffice it to say that I was hooked from the first page and was genuinely sorry when I reached the end. By that time, I felt as though the characters had become firm friends, and they will stay with me for a long time.
Highly recommended. ~ Sue Barnard, Broad Thoughts From A Home blog
With that intriguing British flare, Carolyn Mathews has created a crazy maze of twists and turns in a mystery steeped in spirituality, the power of healing and a belief in things beyond the outside world. Squaring Circles follows a “free spirit,” Pandora, as she deals with the depth of her mother and the sudden appearance of a half-brother she never knew. Was his appearance planned? Coincidence? Part of an evil plot to steal a priceless relic, possibly linked to Christ himself? Can this relic destroy a powerful spiritual healing circle? If this isn’t enough to deal with, is it possible that her husband is repeating a pattern he has fallen into before? Will Pandora be able to achieve the necessary balance to stay her course during these difficult times?
Carolyn Mathews writes with a boldness and straightforward manner while giving enlightenment to the practice of spirituality, of which, I admit to knowing little about. The touches of humor and quirkiness were priceless and Pandora is a force to be reckoned with, for sure! I do regret not having known there was a previous book with background on Pandora, but I did enjoy the quirky characters, the deceitful characters, the villains and the good guys, even when the lines blurred at times!
~ Dii, Tome Tender book blog
"Squaring Circles", by Carolyn Mathews, is the sequel to "Transforming Pandora". In "Transforming Pandora" we follow Pandora's life through a divorce, widowhood and an encounter with her ex-husband, who is now a widower with children. "Squaring Circles" is a stand-alone book; however, I recommend reading "Transforming Pandora" as it is a terrific book. In "Squaring Circles" we learn that Pandora's mother, Frankie, has died unexpectedly. The story opens at Frankie's funeral with Jay, Pandora's ex-husband and now partner, accidently being dragged into the grave along with the casket. Frankie had been less than happy about Pandora and Jay reuniting and he is suspicious Frankie may have been sending forth a message. I was hooked from the first sentence. Frankie's death is not the only surprise for Pandora. She learns she has a half-brother she never knew about and that he had come to see Frankie prior to her death. Why didn't her mother tell her? What other secrets did Frankie have? Then Frankie's grave is disturbed . Someone was looking for something, but what? As if all this isn't enough, there is more - lots more.
There is a large cast of interesting characters, including a very special donkey, who find themselves in a variety of relationships and situations The story takes interesting turns and moves quickly. Pandora tries to stay balanced, but her life keeps getting complicated. Will these recent events shape her future?
The author writes with wit and wisdom and this book is a pleasure to read. She has crafted a story in which the reader can bond with the protagonist. I am so looking forward the sequel.
~ Evie Harris, LibraryThing
A lighthearted read, set against the backdrop of contemporary Glastonbury; the unexpected twists of fate in the life of Pandora Fry continue to play out, despite her purported ‘settling down’ at the end of the previous novel.
The opening scene may be a funeral, yet the sadness is soon supplanted by the surprise arrival of a long-lost brother, and a bizarre attempt at the robbery of a grave. It is soon revealed that the conflict is centred around the search for a revered chalice, belonging to the deceased mother of Pandora.
The scenes shift from those of domestic bliss, to magical adventure, including acts of donkey whispering, the invocation of a curse, and conflict over a controversial elixir of life.
From deep within her violet flame of forgiveness and love, Pandora struggles to trust her musician husband when he returns to the recording studio with a busty blonde. Fearful of a repetition of infidelity on his part, she chooses a new path in the labyrinth of her life; one in which she will once again cross paths with an ex-lover of her own.
I’m rooting for Pandora and waiting to read the next instalment!
~ Helen Noble, author of 'Scorpio Moons'
“Squaring Circles” is a rich and delicious slice of modern British life, topped off with an intriguing dollop of paranormal whipped cream. This brilliant novel captivated me from the black-humor filled opening scene until the last sizzling paragraph. The writing is masterful throughout, each sentence thumping with energy and flowing with great momentum, with sparkles of humor sprinkled generously throughout. This is a sequel to Carolyn Mathews’ “Transforming Pandora,” and like the first installment, this is a novel of many characters and almost non-stop conversation, delightfully narrated by the protagonist, Pandora, an author dabbling in sound healing. Most interestingly, she has a supernatural friend, Enoch, with whom she occasionally communicates via automatic writing. Pandora’s beautifully complicated modern family is depicted with such realism that the plethora of characters comes fully to life, and we feel happily included in the family.
At her mother’s funeral, Pandora meets her dreadlocked half-brother – whom she never previously knew existed. Her mother’s grave is mysteriously vandalized soon after the funeral, and the only witness to the crime was a donkey! The new girlfriend of Pandora’s stepson has an uncanny skill for communicating with animals, and with her help Pandora is able to access what the donkey had seen. So now we know who done it, but still have no idea why! As the mysterious drama progresses, high spirituality is woven in like golden thread in a homespun tapestry. We learn of secret methods with ancient roots for healing the body, mind and spirit, that give us “a heightened experience of unity with nature, the inner self, and God.” Enoch teaches Pandora about the potency of the Violet Flame of Saint Germaine as a transformational tool, and shows her ways to increase the vibratory level of the atoms within the human body. Pandora believes that “our spirits are part of a great Divine Body…. So in that sense, we’re all God.”
“Squaring Circles” walks us so gently into the core of the spiritual labyrinth that we hardly realize what kind of journey we’re on until suddenly it’s clear that we’ve been initiated into a new level of divine knowledge. Carolyn Mathews’ rare literary artistry will leave readers blessed and uplifted, not to mention highly entertained. This is a delightful book! ~ Ram Das Batchelder, author of “Rising in Love: My Wild and Crazy Ride to Here and Now, with Amma, the Hugging Saint”
Carolyn Mathews has produced another cohesive, entertaining, fluid narrative with a stream of brightly crafted visuals.
~ Jessica Moss
I loved the book!!!! If, in the future, there is a third book about Pandora, please consider letting me know. I honestly don't want her story to end. You are a gifted author and I wish you the very best.
~ Librarything, Evie Harris
Carolyn's writing is elegantly stylish: fluid and easy-flowing with a good helping of wit and beautiful, unforced dialogue which adds to the richness and depth of its characters. The narrator Pandora is a born storyteller, whose perceptive observations on the actions, reactions and idiosyncracies of human nature will have the reader pondering the complexities and complications of life along with her. A thoroughly entertaining read. ~ Ella Medler, author of 'Martin Little, Resurrected'
Beautiful to see that what was seeded in Egypt is taking fruit. ~ Aminya Nanga Mai