Many people will know P.M. Glaser as actor Paul Michael Glaser. Since reaching celebrity status in the 70's, Mr. Glaser has branched out creatively, becoming a director and now an author. His family was touched by AIDS in the 80's when his late wife, Elizabeth, contracted the disease through a blood transfusion after giving birth to their first child, Ariel. She unknowingly passed the disease onto Ariel and then to their son, Jake. Ariel passed away in 1988, Elizabeth in 1994. Jake is HIV positive and healthy. Only Mr. Glaser did not contract the virus.
He claims to have had 'many teachers' who helped in cope with the tragic losses in this life. A very private person, Mr. Glaser first started communicating his philosophy of life in a blog. He once said that he had the choice to either become a bitter, old man or to open his heart to others and to his ability to love. He chose the second option.
Now, Mr. Glaser has incorporated his philosophy into this wonderful work of fiction, "Chrystallia and the Source of Light". It's a magical story about a 9 year-old boy and a 13 year-old girl who are at a cross-roads in their lives. It is told in the girl's voice.
They are about to spend their last Christmas with their mother in their beloved home. Their mother is dying and the home is about to be repossessed by the bank. The brother and sister have a long-standing, and often comical, sibling rivalry. The brother is fascinated by rocks and crystals. One night, after everyone in the house is asleep, they are awoken by strange sounds in their house. The Christmas tree seems to have taken root in the house and there is a huge crack in the floor. The children fall into this crack and find themselves in a magical, often cruel kingdom, where everyone and everything is made out of rocks and crystals. They meet various characters with very specific personality traits, that seem to be extensions of the children themselves. Many of the characters have accents (French, German, Russian, Puerto Rican, Southern US) and they are transcribed perfectly by the author. They are on a mission to get back home, with or without the help of the crystal beings.
Mr. Glaser has had a long-standing fascination with rocks and crystals and it's apparent in the story. All information is very well-researched.
Of course, the underlying message of the story is his very own philosophy of life: what is the purpose of fear in our lives? The purpose is to bring us to our hearts and our ability to love as well as to feel compassion for ourselves and others.
The book is appropriate for children and adult alike. Although it's a serious subject, the impending death of a parent, it is handled beautifully and gently.
The descriptions in the book are so colourful that you can see the crystal world and the characters in your mind. Also, I was amazed at how Mr. Glaser was able to get into a 13 year-old girl's mind and tell the story from her point of view.
I certainly hope that Mr. Glaser continues in this creative vein because he is as good a writer as he is an actor and director.