MARI, WHY I NEEDED TO RETURN FROM THE FUTURE by Dr. Winfried Sedhoff has time travel, aliens and even flying saucers. And yet, this is primarily a love story about two people from different centuries. In the Utopian society of the future, Ben is an Arbitrator–a trained official who helps resolve conflicts. In our world, however, he’s hopelessly out of his depth. As Ben falls in love with Mari, he’s torn about keeping his identity secret and admitting her the truth. But Mari may very well have secrets of her own. Just as they begin to connect, Ben is whisked away to his own time where he has to explain himself to a young Arbitrator named Fiorella. Playing devil’s advocate, she questions Ben’s actions and patiently probes his motives.
Additionally, Ben is facing a dilemma that will shape the rest of his life. If pardoned by his superiors, he can either resume living in an enlightened future or return to the woman he loves in a world on a brink of destruction. As it turns out, nuclear war will soon break out. Only in its aftermath will humanity truly change for the better. With a peculiar nonchalance, Ben delivers this news to Mari halfway through the novel. Then they discuss perils of materialism as if a prospect of imminent nuclear annihilation is a mere speculation.
MARI tries to convince us of Ben and Mari’s love, but most of their conversations revolve around philosophical foundations of Ben’s world. Author Winfried Sedhoff repeatedly slows down the story’s momentum to deliver yet another well-meaning insight. Ben hails from a society established upon ideals like compassion, friendship, and tolerance. Meditation and exploration of self are extremely important. All of this is fine, but it isn’t clear how one goes from spiritual self-growth to solving global societal ills.
There’s a compelling narrative hidden within the pages of MARI, WHY I NEEDED TO RETURN FROM THE FUTURE. Unfortunately, this novel isn’t about that story. It’s about the spiritual philosophy of Dr. Winfried Sedhoff. His worldview is certainly commendable, but it makes for a less-than-stellar novel.
Although labeled as a science fiction novel, MARI, WHY I NEEDED TO RETURN FROM THE FUTURE by Dr. Winfried Sedhoff mostly deals with personal spiritual growth. While readers of books on spirituality will find this novel interesting, others might be a little disappointed.
~Danijel Striga for IndieReader