The Year of the Owl
THE YEAR OF THE OWL:
When her father died on December 30st 2012, Pascale – a real daddy’s girl – landed in a swamp of mourning. Her grief peeled her like an onion, layer by layer, until only her core remained. In this vulnerable position – a broken heart is also an open and receptive heart – Pascale, the quintessential rational prosecutor who literally made a living trying to prove anything beyond a shadow of a doubt, had a miraculous spiritual experience with an owl that changed her forever. This magical event affirmed everything she so vehemently did not believe in: the interconnectedness of all that is, the existence of the law of attraction and even the possibility of some form of afterlife.
This occurrence showed her how powerful her thoughts could be and pressured her to face the fact that there did in fact exist more between heaven and earth. Eventually, this event even led to her decision to quit her job as a prosecutor on January 1st 2016 to become a writer. From that moment on, she only follows one path: that of her heart.
Readers rate this comforting, hopeful and uplifting true story on Bol.com (the Dutch Amazon.com), with a 4.7 out of 5 star rating! Curious to see readers’ reviews? Then please scroll down a bit!
Click here to buy the Dutch version:
VIEW THE BOOKTRAILER OF ‘THE YEAR OF THE OWL’!
THE ENGLISH POCKETBOOK IS READY!
THE YEAR OF THE OWL HANDED TO DEEPAK CHOPRA!
Thursday 24 May 2018 Deepak Chopra, MD, bestselling author and spiritual leader, gave a lecture in Afas Live Amsterdam entitled ‘The Healing Self’, based on his latest book. On that occasion, Pascale handed him a copy of The Year of the Owl.
ROYAL ATTENTION FOR THE YEAR OF THE OWL!
This letter from the Secretary of Her Majesty Queen Máxima and His Majesty King Willem Alexander of the Dutch Royal Family states that the ‘kind gesture of sending the book ‘The Year of the Owl’ to Queen Máxima has been very much appreciated’.
For those of you who can read Dutch, you can take a look by clicking on the underlined text: Bekijk hier het inkijkexemplaar
SIGNING OF BOOK CONTRACT:
On 29 March 2016 Pascale signed her second book contract, a joyful moment! Here you can see her with Annelies Nijboer, acquiring editor at Kosmos Publishers.
Photo’s: Annemiek Mommers.
On 30 October 2016 ‘The Year Of The Owl’ was officially presented in Bookstore Dominicanen in Maastricht where Pascale was surprised with three real owls…
Photo: Toni Ribas
On Bol.com (the Dutch Amazon), Pascale’s book gets 4.7 out of 5 star (maximum possible score) reviews from 26 readers!
Reviews on Bol.com:
Beautiful book Ingehg: A compelling story, even if you haven’t had to deal with the loss of one of your parents. It makes you think and makes you realize again what really is important in life.
Unexpectedly touching SaraB: ‘The author has experienced a remarkable development. She dares to be really vulnerable in this book and that is very inspiring. It is also very encouraging to read that, even in the most difficult of times, it is always possible to rise above this.’
Gripping! MartinevS: ‘A very candid and compelling story, in which the past intertwines with the present. It describes beautifully the turnaround in the author’s live. This book is proof that there is more between heaven and earth!’
A very special book Jackybrown: ‘Once started I couldn’t stop reading, written in a touching and very beautiful way.’
Looking for…Marlie: ‘A surprise, a tear, a smile, a quest, a finding, magical words. Raw mourning, compassion, alone, together. Looking for memories, making memories. Your book takes you on a trip, to your own holy grale, find it and dare to embrace it.’
Wonderful! SandraMrtns: ‘A beautiful personal story that enthralls you from the first until the very last chapter. Definitely highly recommended!’
Highly recommended! IreneFranssen: ‘I recommend this book. Fascinating and open-hearted page-turner. After reading this book you’ll just have to look intently at your own motives.’
‘Your book reads very switfly and easily. Very beautifully written!’
‘I have almost finished your wonderful book. It’s a double feeling; I want to know the end but also find it hard to think of the last page of this so intensely and beautifully written story. That’s the way it is with really good books!’
‘I have finished the book in one go. Unfortunately, because as always with a good book you don’t want to say goodbye to the main characters. Pascale describes all her emotions, her turnaround and shows that an ending can also be the start of something very beautiful. She is definitely a positive and driven personality with a listening ear for others.’
‘After I had started reading your wonderful book I could not stop. What a beautiful hommage to your father, I recognized so much in your story and was deeply touched by it. You have inspired me to follow your life motto: listen to your feelings and to your heart!’
“I finished your books in three days. Compelling, full of recognition, positive! I admire the steps you have taken and keep on taking!’
‘I have finished the book! Un-put-downable, so beautiful! My friends know what they’ll be getting for their birthdays… Pascale, I keep my fingers crossed for a next book!’
‘I have just finished reading your book The year of the owl. So unbelievably beautiful and touching and especially full of things I recognize. For the most part, it felt as if I had gone through all of this myself. Ever since my mother’s death, there were also owls on my path in all shapes and sizes. This summer, I even saw one in the garden of the neighours. Goosebumps! It looks right through you. So wonderful that we were able to witness this. Thank you for all the beautiful hours spent reading and I look forward to your next experiences.’
‘I have read your book, it’s wonderful, my great compliments!’
“A surprise, a tear, a smile, a quest, a find, magical words. Raw mourning, compassie, alone, together. Finding memories, making memories. Your book takes you on a journey to your Holy Grail, in order to find and dare to embrace it.’
‘This weekend I have read THE YEAR OF THE OWL and I want to let you know that I think it is a very beautiful book. The book also had a different effect on me, for I have recently also been through the process of saying goodbye to one’s father, which you describe in such a very touching and detailed way. My father died at the end of March and the idea that he is not around anymore finally starts to sink in a little. Reading about your experiences was beautiful and it also surely had a consoling effect on me. Although every life is unique, I did see many similarities, such as for the fact that my dad also was a special man with whom I had a deep connection…In short, I did shed some tears while reading, and that is in itself purifying. So thank you for this reading experience!’
‘I have almost finished the book!! I think it is so beautifully written! Some parts were very sad but how you’ve described the experience with the owl was truly magnificent. I think it is a great feat how you’ve written down all these events in such a wonderful way!’
‘Pascale, I have finished the book. I think a movie should be made out of this story. You are and will be a writer pur sang. Wonderful!’
‘I was totally impressed by your book. Thank you!’
‘Dear Pascale, I have thoroughly enjoyed your book…You have touched me with your story; honest, beautiful, with humor and so pure!i Thank you… I look forward to your next book!’
‘I just wanted to let you know that I really think it’s a wonderful book! So personal, touching and for me – at the end – also very recognizable. Ik have to admit that I am not a die hard reader but I have finished the book almost in one go; you’ve written so beautifully, I see all the places you write about vividly in my mind! Wonderful!’
‘I have read the book with pleasure. It is very beautiful and recognizable, it sometimes touched me extra in my heart.’
‘Compliments for your wonderful book, Pascale. It is beautiful, touching and makes you think deeply!’
‘Dear Pascale, I have just finished your second book… what a brave and vulnerable monument…I recognize a lot and sometimes read sentences that I could have spoken or thougth myself. I am already looking forward to your third book!’
‘Beautiful and impressive!’
‘The Year of the Owl is a very beautiful and often also a very touching book. Until page 28 I was able to read with dry eyes, afterwards often not anymore. What a journey through your inner self. And what an honour to be able to cherish your own owl in your own backyard. How many doubts you must have had, being a rationally thinking prosecutor facing the manifestation of these astral signs that there is more between heaven and Earth!’
‘I am impressed. I am also someone who is averse to everything that reeks of woolliness. I also laugh about it and regard people who are more open minded than me as vague human beings who hope for a cosmic intervention in their love lives. Your book has taught me not to judge in such a harsh way. The fact that I cannot observe or experience something does not mean that it doesn’t exist. That is an arrogant thought. That is what your book has taught me so far. Your story really touched me and makes me look differently at the world. Thanks for this!’
‘You are my heroine! Thank you for writing a wonderful book! I enjoyed every page! Sometimes I even think it is almost scary how good YOU describe MY experiences!’
‘Oh what a beautiful book you have written. Wonderful use of language, but especially very beautifully written about what you have gone through. It touched me deeply, also because I have experienced the process of my dad’s passing in the same way and it also had led to a transformation in my life. I look forward to your next book :-)’
‘Wowwww I have finished the book breathlessly in two days. Recognition, beautifully written. Some 20 years ago I also went through a transformational process because of experiences on my path, thanks to the book of Shirley Maclaine ‘The Camino’. An enrichment of my life. Your book now also shares a part of my path. Thank you for this. For your hope and strength! I wish you all the best.’
‘I have finished your wonderful second book in one go. Thank you!’
‘Finally the time was there: I took your book from the shelf and went to sit in a corner of my couch with some tea and started reading. Some four hours later I really needed to stop on account of a hungry adolescent. Today after a loooong day at work I rushed home, I ate a simple cup of soup with some bread because I HAD to read on. And now, yes, I have finished it. It is inevitable to let out a deep sigh at the end because you have felt all the emotions a human being is capable of feeling. After the whole range of human emotions that I went through in this book I am convinced that karma is the all encompassing ‘evidence’ that in every experience there is a mirror to be found. When we become older, we also have the privilege to experience all of this as a reward for all our efforts to change the world in a positive manner. Your words could have been mine…Thank you for this book, what a gift!! This all encompassing wonderful book is an absolute must-have. A meaningful Christmas present…xxx’.
‘This morning I finished your book. How wonderful that – thanks to your words – I could be a witness to your revelation and to the fact that you dared to follow your heart. Many people can learn something from your book. Very special and inspiring, thank you.’
‘Dear Pascale, this week I have read your book in almost one go. Very beautiful! I will definitely keep following you in order to be able to read more of your writings!’
‘Dear Pascale, I have thouroughly enjoyed your book. Now I look forward to start reading your other book!’
‘In case you are wondering whether everything seems to be connected, but you cannot pinpoint it precisely, then now you know for sure that it is indeed that way. This book shows that a human being, independently of his or her place on earth, is capable of a transformation that eventually leads him/her to his/her inner self. To share this realization with the rest of the world is for everyone a great gift because it makes them better persons. And these better persons are what the world urgently needs right now.
This book is a worthy and meaning-ful contribution to our universal need to overcome ourselves and rise to a higher consciousness; following your intuition. A wonderful hommage.’
‘I have read your book with a lot of attention. According to me, it consists of two parts, one before and one after the death of your father. His passing put you in a mourning process that you describe in a deep way. This mourning process, this crisis, has given you the opportunity to let your spiritual being come to the surface. This is also to be considered a gift from your father. The most beautiful part of the book to me was the transformation from the ‘normal’ life to a life that is visibly led by your spiritual motives. Also your change of carreer, the giving up of a seemingly secure job in order to become a writer shows that you have the courage to follow your heart. Such developments make me very happy inside and they warm and uplift my heart. I wish you a lot of success being a writer.’
‘So special but also very recognizable. Especially your vulnerability and daring to show this more and more, touch me deep inside (…).’
‘I have read your book. What struck me in the beginning was in how much detail you described your youth. There you are still the prosecutor who pays attention to the smallest details. Then, when you go deep down into your grief, I become engulfed with emotions. There I needed tissues. For your grief and because it reminded me of the mourning process for my mother (…). Then it became clear to me that you cannot run from your grief. Afterwards, a whole different Pascale comes to the surface and that was probably also meant to be this way. Almost a guru and maybe you want to be one. To let people know that there are more things in life than a carreer…(…). Beautiful how you described how a life can change, can tip over, how a transformation can develop.’
‘I have read your wonderful book in one go. It exceeded my expectations. After I had finished the book I put on the tv. The first thing I saw was an owl! Special, hopeful and supportive in this time of deep mourning that I go through. Your openness and vulnerability help me to take the next step. Many thanks! ‘
‘As a reader, Pascale has taken me on a journey through her story, emotions and experience. She beautifully describes what you go through when you are confronted with the loss of a beloved to whom you feel connected on a deep soul level. I’d like to add to the words wonder, loss and resilience the words magical, goosebumps and admiration. Especially the last one, because I admire Pascale for the way that she has put her feelings in an easy to read book and for the way in which she made a drastic career change and has set a different course for her life. HAT’S OFF TO YOU! Highly recommended to read this book!’
‘I just finished your book. What a wonderful and powerful story! I have read it with a tear and a smile. Thank you.’
‘After finishing the first book of Pascale Bruinen, Fortunately, My First Corpse Is Fresh, I now have read her second book. Both books are very different. In the first, she describes her job as a public prosecutor. In that time, she was very down-to-earth and needed hard evidence before she believed anything. This second book with an owl as the main character is about the spiritual eye-opening that Pascale went through after the death of her father. The intensely sad Pascale breaks down completely. A very special experience involving an owl made her whole again and made her into a person that follows her feelings. Now she believes everything until proven wrong…I have finished this book in one night, in one go. From the beginning until the end I was totally under the spell of Pascale’s wonderful, sad and impressive story. During the whole book, I had a lump in my throat. I felt a lot of compassion for Pascale who was so intensely sad after her father passed away that she had a breakdown. And the special spiritual events – first small ones, later a very big one – in which the owl plays a major part, gave me a very warm feeling inside. How beautifully has Pascale written this story, I got the feeling that I knew her because of this very personal story. So candid, so brave, so wonderful… This powerful story about loss, mourning and spirituality had really touched me deeply! And doesn’t the book look lovely? I’m in love! Special note: I read the book in a hotel where my husband and I were staying for one night. When I tried to make a picture of the book, we suddenly saw an owl wall!’
‘I am very proud of you. And that is putting it mildly. You wrote that the book was about love and loss, grief and resilience, hope and wonder. That is all true. But what has especially touched me is the describing and sharing of your vulnerability of that what would eventually become your great strength and your bridge to a new existence.’
‘Pascale I have read your book in one go. Impressive, candid, emotional, full of humor and recognition and wisdom. So Beautiful! Thank you.’
‘The Year of the Owl’ is a very beautiful and compelling book that you’ll want to read in one go!’
‘Wonderful book! Soon, I’ll be reading it for the second time!’
‘I just loved your book! I enjoyed it immensely, once I got reading it I could not put it down. I found it very thought provoking and uplifting. It brought out all kinds of emotions like sadness, joy, hope and makes you realize life is short at its best and to embrace the time as we go through life. Over Christmas I am going to read it again because I know I will get even more enlightenment out of it. I would also like to get copies of ‘The Year of the Owl’ for my special friends. I know they would love it. I do not want to lend them my very special copy from you as I treasure it.’
‘Pascale, I just finished your book. It doesn’t happen often but I had tears in my eyes. What a beautiful book. Straight from the heart… And so close to my own feelings. It seems as if you want to tell me something…It is very thought provoking… Thank you!’
‘A book about wonder, loss and resilience’, it says on the cover of this book. I’d like to add the word ‘decisiveness’. Because this is, according to my opinion, the most inspiring part of this story. Wanting or wishing to do something is one thing. But to actually go ahead and do it, is quite another. Together, they form the longest road, like Pascale describes it, ‘from the head to the heart’. That is the most inspiring part of this book. It reads wonderfully and gives a beautiful look into the immense sadness and loss.’
‘A wonderful story! Because of all the praise and very positive media stories about the book ‘The Year of the Owl’, I had high expectations. I postponed reading it because I feared disappointment. What if I didn’t like the book? I have been following Pascale on her blog Coolcolumns.com for a while now and really appreciate what she writes and does. I have bought the book The year of the owl as a gift to myself. But I needn’t to have worried because it is a wonderful story, beautifully written! Especially the chapters about how she experienced living with her parents. Pascale takes us, the readers, with her in her life. We look over her schoulder. Very well done!’
‘When Pascale is confronted with the fact that her father enters his final stage in life, she is overcome by emotions that transform her rational view on human existence into a spiritual one. She quits her job as a public prosecutor and decides henceforth to be led by the law of attraction. In ‘The Year of the Owl’ the author dares to show her vulnerability and this is very moving while reading the book. It is a beautiful and inspiring story about the miracles of life.’
‘What a beautiful book. Wonderful use of language. You managed to write beautifully about what you went through. It touched me deeply because I experienced the mourning process after my father’s passing in the same way, as it also led to a transformation in my life.’
‘It is a riveting and touching story that beautifully shows how strong the bond between a grown daughter and her father can be. A bond that cannot be broken and that only gets closer by an invisble hand that steers both life stories until they are blooming. Wonderfully written and in many ways very familiar.’
‘I have read the first book of this former prosecutor in one go. Curious to read the second one. ‘The Year of the Owl’ describes the beautiful loving relationship with her father, his demise and working through her grief. All this has made her decide to turn her life around. Respect!’
‘In a beautifully written story, Pascale takes you with her on her transition from a closed up oyster to an open book. Her life in the legal world has left deep scar, amongst others in dealing with fellow human beings. When the once full life of her father changes to a dependent and vulnerable state, Pascale as his youngest daughter also changes. Until that moment, spirituality was a word Pascale used only sparingly. An owl transforms her in this respect. Having to say a last farewell to her dad results in an upheaval in her life. Old dreams are converted to new goals. She takes off her magistrate’s robe and life goes on, now with a pen in hand. In a beautiful subdued style, she has written a compelling story that is thought provoking. The concept of the law of attraction still lingers in my head…’.
‘OMG, your book has unleashed so much inside of me… First I was confronted with my own memories of my parents and then with your insights. Really wonderful! So courageous to gradually acknowledge your basic feelings that lead to powerful and life enriching insights.Thank you! ‘
‘In this book I sometimes saw my own struggles reflected. That was confronting, but certainly also inspiring! A nice writing style that reads easily.’
‘Very beautifully written, familiar and brimming with emotions. A story of love and connection, about falling and getting back up again, about dreaming…Touching!’
‘A brave and vulnerable document. Sometimes touching, sometimes funny and with many a familiar moment.’
‘An easily readable personal story. Vulnerable, pure and sincere. Absolutely worth your while!’
‘I read ‘The year of the owl’ and the day afterwards I encountered a whole collection of owls in the restaurant at the hospital I was visiting. There is no such thing as coincidence! So for me, this was a clear sign that I had to contact you. Reading your book has done me a whole lot of good. I can really identify with your story. Beautifully written. Just like you, I belief that there are special powers at work and that things do not happen without a reason. Your book is a source of inspiration. I have read and reread the last pages of your book and I will keep reading these. Thanks to your book I am a ‘work in progress’… Thanks you so much for this!’
Thank you for your beautiful and inspiring book. I finished it in two days. What a source of inspiration! I’m already looking forward to your third book!
Peter R. de Vries, crime reporter, true crime author and international Emmy-awardwinner:
“I have read your wonderful book The year of the owl in one go. From the very first page, I was grabbed by this touching story. I just had to finish it! It is a beautiful, loving and well written book that captures the special relationship between father and daughter terrifically. I am not ashamed to say that there were quite some passages that moved me. It is wonderful to see how, out of such a sad experience, you managed to make a beautiful and lasting tribute from which we can all learn something! On the other side of fear, lies freedom…”
Jessica Villerius, film- and documentarymaker:
“I read this book in one go. Big tears of emotion and recognition. For me it confirmed that you can spend many years working and living in the tough world of facts and evidence, but feelings and intuition will take you where you need to be in the end. Inspiring! I have seldom read such a beautiful, honest book full of vulnerability. Therefore I think that everyone deserves to read this wonderful book with so much food for thought.”
Marc Rieu, art painter and son of worldfamous André Rieu (Johann Strauss Orchestra):
‘I could read this wonderful book every year, such a jewel, or rather, a diamant that shines again and again in all its facets!!! Words cannot describe what I feel, the story gets so close to you because it was written in such a personal fashion. What an evocative, exquisite tribute! A great deal of praise to you!!!‘
Roy op het Veld, chief editor of regional newspaper De Limburger:
‘ I’ve read your book. Well done. Beautiful story!’
Egbert Brons, coach/trainer/investigator of the art of creation:
“In this masterfully written book the Law of Attraction plays a significant part. Small pieces of the puzzle are carefully wrapped into the story so the reader remains curious until the very end. The story has different layers and is not only a family saga. It is also a story about two journeys of transformation. One is that which we all will go through sooner or later, the other is a journey that is only open to those who dare to open themselves up to the incorporeal and the intangible. In this book Pascale shows you a reality that also exists, but that remains hidden for many. She writes in a style that sometimes touches you straight in your heart. She takes you on a journey through her life and seduces you to keep on reading. In a playful manner she connects the everyday with spirituality. She knows how to bring tension and expectation into the story. The book is a testimony of a remarkable spiritual experience, of deeply experiencing how the Law of Attraction can transfer a life and how a totally new reality can be created. It’s highly recommended for everyone who wants to peek behind the screens of everyday reality.’
Vreneli Stadelmaier, author of the bestselling book ‘Sure she can’ and winner of the Joke Smit-award 2015:
‘The Year of the Owl’ is a beautiful spiritual requiem for a father. Bruinen describes wonderfully how saying goodbye can lead to reconsideration and transformation. An encouragement for everyone who wants to reinvent oneself.’
Isabel Beije, editor ‘Mijn Geheim’:
‘I very much enjoyed reading your book! What a beautiful journey you have described, from the head to the heart! And such special examples of so many so-called ‘coincidences’ that have led to big changes in your life.’
‘I bought Pascale’s book last Friday and I read it that same day in one go. I went through the book on a rollercoaster of emotions. Pascale’s writing style is unique. She knows how to describe emotions in a subtle way so that you cannot escape them. There is more on this earth than ratio, material things and running after business success. In the book, the owl plays a central and strategic part. For Pascale, the owl is the catalyst that lets her feelings guide her which way to go. Without giving away the end, the Catalpa tree that gets a second life is a symbol for a new and different life…with more explicit meaning. The book is highly recommended. It reads wonderfully but don’t be afraid of impetuous emotions because there are plenty of those in this book. Compliments Pascale for this masterpiece!’
Jacques Smeets, writer and former police detective:
‘The Year of the Owl. A very special title for a wonderful book (…). The owl and spirituality are two themes that play a crucial part in this exciting book. Both have come forth out of a sad event in her life, namely her father’s death. The way in which Pascale is able to blend this experience with the owl’s arrival shows a great writer’s talent to keep the reader reading. With her style, she knows how to engage and even to deeply move the reader. For surely, each reader will have lost some loved one at some point in her of his life. This terrible event is bad enough, but when you simultaneously take the courageous step to say goodbye to an important job as public prosecutor, solely to follow your heart into an uncertain future, then it is crystal clear that a lot has happened in her life. Pascale shares her emotions candidly. Especially striking is the fact that Pascale offers a lot of attention to the law of attraction, a natural truth that applies to all individuals. I was deeply touched by her spirital development because I experienced something similar in my life. Therefore, this book is for people who are looking for answers to questions that they have been asking for years. Some of those answers are actually given in this book. At the very least this book offers beautiful and useful lines of approach for anyone who wants and dares to open up unconditionally.’ – Jacques Smeets, writer and former police detective
Marga Miltenburg, director speaker’s Agency ZijSpreekt:
‘The title of Pascale Bruinen’s new book ‘The year of the owl'(Kosmos Editors) made me curious. In the book she describes the love she felt for her father, being the youngest daughter. He was her counselor, she learned a lot from him. Her father was like a wise owl. For that reason, Pascale’s mother had given him – many years before his demise – a statue of a wooden owl, a gift that had visibly touched him. When her father dies at the age of 89, she goes through a deep crisis. Pascale: ‘Age doesn’t count, the feeling of absence is overwhelming. Mourning is very hard work. All feelings of sorrow, pain and despair have a function.’ During this mourning period she was taken om a search for her ‘authentic self’, the personal nucleus that finally remains when all superfluous layers have disappeared. Pascale: ‘Showing vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but of strength, daring and courage.’ After she has come out of this crisis, she has an intense spiritual experience in which an owl plays an important part. The book shares with us that ‘when you wish something deeply enough en then can release your wish, it comes true, even though it may take a while.’Thinking power influences and creaties. All that gets conscious attention, grows. The Law of Attraction, she calls it. Because of her experience with the owl she makes a 180 degrees turn. As of that moment, she believes everything biforehand until it’s clear that it cannot possibly be true. In ‘The year of the owl’ we see this process of awakening. Her father’s death brought her a lot of good, in the end. Pascale felt that this special story had to be told. I fully agree with her. Read it and let this book touch you! The story of a public prosecutor becoming the writer and motivational speaker she is now.’
‘Her father’s death leads to a transformation for public prosecutor Pascale Bruinen. Her grief makes her realize that she has to follow her heart. She quits her job and decides to become a full time writer. A touching and inspiring true story.’
Andrea Germeraad, writer:
‘My definition of a good book is: a book becomes art when it changes my (view on) life. ‘The Year of the Owl’ has certainly accomplished this feat. In the beginning I was somewhat skeptical. I really hoped it would not be one of those woolly self help books. Pretty soon into the book, I was enthralled by the personal and recognizable story of Pascale Bruinen. The author doesn’t only open up to a different mindset, but she also dares to be vulnerable towards the reader. Stress, grief, despair but also her happy moments are so well written that I could sense them myself. Despite this rollercoaster of emotions it turns out to be a feel good book with a happy ending. Fortunately, the moralistic tone of voice I feared in the beginning is completely missing in this book. Instead, the author leaves it totally up to the reader whether to believe or not. With regard to the latter: I hope there is more than this material existence, but my mind says this is not possible. What Pascale has taught me is to at least not judge those people who do believe it is possible. Simply because my mind cannot rationalize it does not mean that it does not exist for another person.’
Wendy Wenning, Passion For Books, boekenbijlage.nl:
‘In ‘The Year of the Owl’ Pascale shares her deepest feelings and bares her soul. Daring and courageous. I deeply admire her. Pascale is a very down to earth woman, a control freak. But after her father’s demise, she sees her own true self. And not only that, but she also starts to encounter images of owls everywhere. Seeing these creatures, symbols of wisdom, she has to think of her father. Not only because of his intelligence, but also because of the wooden owl statue that he received just for that reason from Pascale’s mother years ago. To her these are signs of her father. A spiritual experience shows her that there is more in life and that she has to change course. ‘The Year of the Owl’ has left a great impression on me and made me realize that it is never too late to go and do what you love to do. In this book, Pascale shows in a very personal and intense way the beautiful example of how important it is to follow your heart. A book that touched me, sometimes made me sad but also a book out of which I got a lot of strength.’
Reviews of other readers:
“I have almost finished your wonderful book. I want to know the end but I also think it’s a shame when I think of the very last page of this story that you have written in an intensely beautiful way. But that’s just the way it is when you read a really good book!!”
“Your book reads very fast and easily, it’s very beautifully written!!”
“I have read your book in no time. Unfortunately, because – as always when reading a good book – you don’t want to say goodbye to the main characters. Pascale describes all her emotions, her transformation and shows that a painful goodbye can also be the beginning of something very beautiful. Pascale is a positive and driven person with a listening ear for others.”
“After I had started reading this beautiful book I could not stop. What a wonderful homage to your father, I recognised so much in your story and was deeply touched by it. You have inspired me to follow your motto: listen to your feelings and your heart.”
“I finished reading your book in three days. Immersive, recognisable, positive.”
“I bought Pascale’s book and finished reading it the very same day. I went through the book on an emotional rollercoaster. Pascale’s manner of writing is unparalleled. In a subtiel way, she knows how to describe emotions. There’s no way of escaping them. On earth, there exists more than rational thinking, tangible things and running after success in business. In the book, the owl plays a strategic part. For Pascale, it is the catalyst to five her feelings an explicit role. Without giving too much away, the catalpa tree, the tree that gets a second life, is a symbol for a new (different) life. I can absolutely recommend this book. It reads in a lovely way, but don’t be afraid of strong emotions because there are plenty of those. Compliments for having written this little masterpiece, Pascale.”
“I have just read your book ‘The year of the owl’. So incredibly beautiful and touching and especially recognisable, It overall felt as if I had gone through all this myself. Since my mother’s death, there also have been owls that came into my life in all kinds of forms, this summer even one in the neighbours’ garden. Goosebumps! It looked right through me. So beautiful that we have the privilege to experience this. Thanks for the beautiful hours of reading time and I look forward to your next experiences.”
“I’ve finished reading your book! Un-put-awayably beautiful! All my friends know what they are going to get as a present for their upcoming birthdays…Pascale, I keep my fingers crossen for your next book…”
“Just finished reading your book, it’s a very fine book, big compliments!”
“This weekend I finished reading THE YEAR OF THE OWL and I wanted to let you know that I think it’s a very beautiful book. But the book also had a different effect on me personally, because the process of having to say goodbye to your father – that you have described in details and in a very touching way – is something that I also had to go through recently. My father died last March and the idea that he is not here anymore is just sinking in. To read about your experiences was not only beautiful but also very comforting. Although every life is unique, I surely saw similarities, if only because my father was also a very special man with whom I had a deep connection. So, I shed some tears while reading your book, and that in itself is cathartic. So thank you for this reading experience!”
“Pascale I have just read your book. It doesn’t happen often but I had tears in my eyes. What a beautiful book. Straight from the heart…and so close to my own emotions. It is as if you have been trying to tell me something…You have got me thinking…Thank you!”
“Almost finished your book!!! Beautifully written! Some parts were pretty sad but the part where you described the experience with the owl afterwards was really stunningly beautiful. Very impressive!”
“Pascale, I have finished your book. I think it should be made into a movie. You were meant to be a writer!! Great.”
“I was completely impressed by your book. Thanks!”
“Dear Pascale, I have enjoyed your book. You’ve touched me with your story; honest, beautiful, with humour and so pure! Thank you so much…I’m looking forward to your next book!”
“I wanted to tell you that I really think your book is wonderful! So personal, touching, and – in the end – also very recognisable. I have to confess I am not a die-hard book reader but I finished your book in no time; you’ve described it so beautifully, in my imagination I see all the places you write about very clearly. It’s great!”
“I have enjoyed reading your book. It is very beautiful and recognisable, it has really moved me.”