Two authors, Jean Blasiar and Jonathan Marcantoni, have come together to tell the story of a little girl so devoted to her father that she sets out to do what others have not been able to do.  Find him.

Set against the backdrop of World War II, Melanie Commons takes on the role of provider and caregiver that countless women took on during that tumultuous period in our history. Taking a job in an airplane factory, she is given the support and confidence that she was not able to find prior to the war. It is this new-found freedom that gives her the tools and the strength to pursue a career in the arts. While her professional life takes off, her daughter Gem takes the reins in trying to find her MIA father. Using her special gift to communicate with animals, Gem follows all possible leads, until she is given a once in a lifetime opportunity. As the book hurdles towards its mystical conclusion, mother and daughter will find themselves as they face an uncertain future.

What drew the authors to this story was its simple power. What on the surface is a basic fable hides deeper truths about life and love, and what we’re willing to sacrifice to find happiness. This is an infectious story, one that buries itself under your skin and cannot be shaken. While set during World War II, it bears universal themes that resonate ever more strongly in the modern world, where our obligations can often keep us from seeing what is most important to us. Like many great fables, its supernatural elements are symbolic of emotions and spirituality that we all share. Gem doesn’t speak to animals in a Disney sense, they don’t have conversations, but she is in tune with an understanding that comes from intensive listening and concentration. It is a communion that many find in prayer or meditation.

But this is not a religious book. It doesn’t push any Judeo-Christian theology or any other religion onto the reader. But the nature of Gem’s gift and the overall message of nurturing the essential things in life are undeniably spiritual, and are shared by many religious and even non-religious people.

This is also a book about a marriage, and the extent to which absence can affect it. Melanie’s devotion to her missing husband is constantly tested, but even at her most tempted, Gem, once again, brings her back into focus.

COMMUNION is the story of unrelenting devotion.  We hope it comes to mean as much to you as it does to us.

Jean Blasiar & Jonathan Marcantoni
Co-authors of COMMUNION (Savant 2011)