Title: As It Is On Earth
Author: Peter M. Wheelwright
ISBN: 13: 978-1-937677-18-3
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is part of a well-known quote of the Lord’s Prayer in the Bible. In Peter M. Wheelwright’s fictional novel, As It Is On Earth, he captures mankind’s struggle between human philosophies, the art of science and the inborn knowledge of a Supreme Being who is control of the universe.
This two hundred and ninety eight page soft bound book has a photograph of a low profile island with peaceful waters in the foreground on both front and back jacket covers along with several paragraphs depicting the storyline and three reviews. There are five pages dedicated to Fomite books of the same genre that explores the human condition. Although no typographical or grammatical errors were noticed, there were a few possibly arguable capitalization issues.
Wheelwright weaves a tale of Taylor Thatcher, a young thirty something year old Hartford, Connecticut professor from New England who has a confusing genealogy and upbringing with a major religious chip on his shoulder. After his mother drowns in a river at a young age, his father remarries her look-alike sister, producing step-brother Bingham. Though a series of life experiences of witnessing his Biblically devout father’s indiscretions, fleeing to the Yucatan to avoid confrontation and to find himself, learning of his girlfriend’s abortion after their relationship demise, and coming to terms that his father’s friend’s daughter is actually his own sister, Taylor tries to decipher his own spiritual and emotional beliefs.
By writing in first person, present tense, the author is very good at describing the Maine and Connecticut landscape where he and his brother were raised and educated by family and friends, the differences marked between the Puritans, Reformed Protestants, and Chesapeake Catholics along with the different early and current American or Mayan Indians. The angst, confusion and resolution on how Taylor digests, accepts and moves on in life’s realities are easily understood.
As Taylor tries to better understand his parental and sibling relationships and how they are entwined, his confusing love for a new woman in his life or forgiving his own past, he comes to the realization that “history is just a pack of different lies and we each pick the one that suits us best” and perhaps it is God’s will that everything happens for a reason.
The author is thorough in describing his characters and their feelings but sometimes they can be confused with others due to their multiple name changes. The detailed, interesting topics on religion, science and history may deter the reader from the actual story of accepting one’s own frustrations and faults and focus on the future.