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Jerome and the Seraph

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Overview

Following an unfortunate accident in the friary cemetery, Brother Jerome is pitched unexpectedly into the afterworld. When he meets up with his pet cat, Leo, he assumes that the cat, too, is dead. But Leo's real name is Quant and he's a very special cat.

With the quantum cat by his side, Jerome sets out to explore the new world he finds himself in--though it seems to be, rather, an old world when he hears Pan's ethereal music and has to step ...
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Jerome and the Seraph

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Overview

Following an unfortunate accident in the friary cemetery, Brother Jerome is pitched unexpectedly into the afterworld. When he meets up with his pet cat, Leo, he assumes that the cat, too, is dead. But Leo's real name is Quant and he's a very special cat.

With the quantum cat by his side, Jerome sets out to explore the new world he finds himself in--though it seems to be, rather, an old world when he hears Pan's ethereal music and has to step aside as a couple of centaurs gallop past. Have his years as a Christian friar been a dreadful mistake? But the cat reminds him that Christ said there were many mansions in His Father's house: the Lord is Lord of all pantheons, God of gods.

Back at the friary, the Guardian, Father Fidelis, fears that his past has finally caught up with him. Who can help him?
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Editorial Reviews

Annette Gisby
"The book is a well written story, with a light hearted look at quantum theory that you don't need a degree in physics to understand. The characters are all well drawn and you feel for poor Jerome on his first attempts at inter-dimensional travel, where he gets stuck inside a pillar, a tree and a painting respectively.

Paintings, classical mythology and architecture all play bit parts, but the cat is the star of the show. Ms. Williams has blended every feature together so effortlessly, you wonder why you never saw the connections between them before."
editor of Twisted Tales

Dallas Franklin
"Jerome and the Seraph is a delight to read! I was drawn into the story immediately and couldn't put it away, reading it in one sitting. When a book captures your attention this rapidly and keeps your curiosity piqued throughout, you know the price you pay for it is well worth it.

...Robina expertly weaves her knowledge and love of Pre-Raphaelite art, mythology and quantum physics without one needing prior knowledge of either to realize its impact on the story. I really loved how she brought the understanding of linear time and simultaneous time into layman's terms, which made the story all the more interesting and awe-inspiring.

Robina is working on a sequel to "Jerome and the Seraph" and I'm already looking forward to its completion. I recommend this story highly and give it a top rating of 10."
author of "Dare to be Published

Dr. Henry L. Lazarus
"Robina Williams has a contemplative tale about a friary in which brother Jerome is newly dead and trying to learn how to live with it. Brother Ignatius is a great cook who never seems to eat his own food, brother Valentine an artist, and Father Fidelis is bothered by a new arrival to the Parish, a woman from his past. There's also the other dead friars who usually stay in their part of heaven and a strange cat that moves easily from heavenly friary and the earthly one, helping Brother Jerome escape from a tree, a painting, and a crystal ball. "Jerome and the Seraph" (trade from Twilight Times Books) is a quiet book that matches the contemplative life of the Friars. Very calming."
University City Review and the newsletter of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society
Harriet Klausner
Top Rating of 10 from Harriet Klausner
"Slipping on the icy ground of the cemetery, Brother Jerome smacks his head against the gravestone of Father Aloysius. His peers gave him a nice funeral but ironically buried him at the site in which he died.

"When he first died, he briefly meets Aloysius who apologizes to Jerry, but that seem like a lifetime ago as Jerome finds the afterworld is void of anyone, even angels, except for Leo the friary cat, who is alive and well back in his former residence. Jerome is confused as there are no cherubs or angels with harps. Leo explains to Jerome that his real name is Quantum, but he can call him Quant and that it is easy to cross between the land of the living and the dead, which is why he resides here and at the friary. Simply Jerome must modify his belief system so that he can see and soon other spirits and doors to dimensions will be there. Of course coordinates are critical or else one can become the star of a painting or a branch of a tree.

"JEROME AND THE SERAPH is a simple entertaining book that ironically connects complex topics (the afterlife, mythology, and quantum physics) into a wonderful fantasy that hooks readers from the moment Al and Jerry exchange a few words. The tale never lets go until Brother Jerome completes his journeys, though Quant steals the show. Fans who appreciate an amusing with serious undertone adventure tale will appreciate Jerome Through the Looking Glass guided by Quant the Cheshire cat."
Review Centre

Pat H. Fredeman
"Amid a plethora of reading material that shows man brutally subjugating matter, churning titanic waves in the environment, solving absurdly clever puzzles, and moving mountains to make love ring true, who would have thought such a seraphically smug cat could represent such basic, intelligent change in the interests of spiritual consummation? Robina Williams has tackled the oldest and most troubling question known to thinking and spiritually concerned humans. Jerome and the Seraph is a charming and deceptively simple story, filled with delightful puns and serenely sly humor. It is a book to cherish."
author of Paradise Regained
Anne K. Edwards
..Talented author, Ms Robina Williams, writes with clever, sly good humor as she takes us back and forth through the veil that separates the here and the hereafter. Her characters are very human in their curiosity and weaknesses and the paths from both sides of this veil meet and cross in what is a story that will lighten your heart and brighten your day. Things are not what they seem is one lesson Jerome and the reader will learn together as he takes those first tentative steps in a new life.
Annette Gisby
The book is a well written story, with a lighthearted look at quantum theory that you don't need a degree in physics to understand. The characters are all well drawn and you feel for poor Jerome on his first attempts at inter-dimensional travel, where he gets stuck inside a pillar, a tree and a painting respectively. Paintings, classical mythology and architecture all play bit parts, but the cat is the star of the show. Ms. Williams has blended every feature together so effortlessly...
Dallas Franklin
Jerome And The Seraph is a delight to read! I was drawn into the story immediately and couldn't put it away, reading it in one sitting. When a book captures your attention this rapidly and keeps your curiosity piqued throughout, you know the price you pay for it is well worth it. Robina expertly weaves her knowledge and love of Pre-Raphaelite art, mythology and quantum physics without one needing prior knowledge of either to realize its impact on the story.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931201544
  • Publisher: Day to Day Enterprises
  • Publication date: 12/15/2004
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Robina Williams lives in the U.K. She has an M.A. in Modern Languages from Oxford University, and an M.Phil. pure research degree in English Literature from Liverpool University. She has been a schoolteacher, a college lecturer, a secretary, and a features writer for magazines and newspapers.

She thought that Schrödinger's Cat--a cat that is both alive and dead at the same time--would be a useful character for fantasy novels. Jerome and the Seraph, the first book in her Quantum Cat series, was published in trade paperback by Twilight Times Books in 2004. Angelos was published in 2006, and Gaea in 2009. Robina is currently writing the fourth book in the series.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Jerome was scarcely able to believe his eyes when he saw the cat padding towards him. Choked with emotion, he bent down to stroke the creature as it nuzzled the hem of his habit, just as it had done back at the friary.

Finally he managed to say, "Hello, Leo, old chap! It's great to see you again!" As the cat meowed a friendly greeting, he added sympathetically, "And what brought you here? Did you have an accident, like me?"

Expecting no answer beyond a further nudge and another meow, he nearly fell over when the cat replied indignantly, "No, of course not. Accidents like that don't happen to me!"

While Jerome struggled to recover from the shock of hearing the cat speak, Leo added, "And the name's Quantum, by the way, not Leo. You can call me Quant, if you like."

"Of course I can talk," he said in response to Jerome's next question.

"But you didn't talk on earth," Jerome pointed out.

Quant did not reply.

Jerome regretted his remark, for he felt that it showed insensitivity to draw attention to the fact that the cat was now as dead as he.

"Can all cats talk?" he asked Quant, adding carefully, "When they're here, I mean?"

The cat considered his question before answering, "All the cats here can talk."

"And the other animals, too?"

Again there was a slight pause before Quant replied, "Yes, the animals here can talk."

Jerome thought back to their first meeting, when Brother Bernard, who helped out in the kitchen, had introduced them. They had hit it off immediately and had taken many companionable strolls together on fine days.

As the cook, and with Bernard's quiet encouragement,Jerome had ensured that Leo was fed the friary scraps. This, unfortunately, was in the teeth of opposition from the guardian, Father Fidelis, who said he saw no reason why the cat shouldn't feed itself off rats and mice in the outbuildings. As a result, Jerome's relationship with the cat had been a friendly one, while his guardian, aiming a sly kick at the animal one morning when he'd thought no one was looking, had received a nasty scratch on his ankle.

One hot summer's afternoon, Father Valentine, who had been an artist before joining the Order, had pointed out how apt the cat's name was. Spotting Jerome sitting in the garden with the animal lying at his feet, he had compared the scene with Dürer's painting of St Jerome in the wilderness with his lion: two Jeromes, both wearing robes, each with a ginger cat lying beside him. Admittedly the desert cat was bigger than their little Leo, but the friary garden was definitely something of a wilderness, too. Everyone had laughed at the comparison, including Jerome when they'd told him about it. They had all agreed that Leo was exactly the right name for the cat, for in the twilight his ginger fur softened to a tawny hue, and he certainly wasn't a cat to be messed with.

Now, Jerome told the cat this little story, thinking that the creature would be amused. Quant, however, looked at him in the strangest way. He said nothing; he just looked.

Jerome had an uneasy feeling. A weird, fantastical thought sprang into his mind. The cat has been around for an awfully long time. But surely not! It can't be possible....

And yet, as Jerome looked into the cat's eyes, they seemed to grow bigger and brighter. And suddenly Jerome was no longer looking into the green, familiar, friendly eyes of the cat he knew. Great, golden eyes gleamed at him: eyes he hadn't seen before, eyes that frightened him. He tried to look away but found he couldn't. The baleful stare held him mesmerized.

The moment passed, and he found himself looking once more into the steady gaze of a small ginger tom. Then before he had time to recover himself, the animal's expression softened and Quant did a parody of the Cheshire Cat and disappeared, leaving Jerome with the memory of an enigmatic, mocking, feline smile.

After that, Quant was away for a while. In his absence, Jerome found that he couldn't get those glittering, feral eyes out of his mind. He asked himself what Quant's past could have been. And he knew the answer as a vision of desert sands rolled out before him.

Quant had been the lion in the picture. He must have been. He had been the lion at the saint's side, his namesake's companion. That was what Quant's past had been.

Then, remembering how the leonine eyes had changed back into the cat's eyes he knew so well, Jerome corrected himself. No, not past, not in Quant's case. Present. What Quant had been, he still was. His past wasn't over and done with. It could be revisited at will. There was no then for the cat: there was just now.

Jerome sat down and tried calmly, carefully, to think this through. If Quant's past and present are one, as they seem to be, then time means something different to him. Time is something he can move around in as he pleases – not like the road I was on. When I ran out of road, I ran out of life. Quant's time isn't like that. He's still on the road, still in time. And he can go wherever he likes – backwards, forwards, sideways. Will Quant's time ever end?

Copyright © 2002 by Robina Williams

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Told masterfully from multiple points of view, Robina Williams¿

    Told masterfully from multiple points of view, Robina Williams’ Jerome and the Seraph, first in her Quantum Cat series, is a beautifully quiet, slow tale set in the fields and forests, monasteries and village homes, and even churches of the English countryside. Since the protagonist is unexpectedly dead, it’s also set somewhere else, but Jerome takes a while to work out where this “other side” is and how closely it relates to the world we all know.

    Jerome hasn’t “passed away.” He’s “passed on.” The difference becomes a beautiful part of this tale where dead and living almost interact, and a small cat leads the way. Of course, this is no ordinary cat. The author's clever trail of clues leaves readers to intuit the details while the protagonist flounders. Art plays its part as well, with a well-known painting of Saint Jerome and a lion forming a pleasing backdrop to nicely understated mystery.

    Some mysteries are thoroughly and delightfully earthbound of course, and Jerome’s by no means too heavenly minded to be of earthly use as he tries to find out where the leading monk has been straying to and why. These honest, human monks battle honest human failings in a very real way as they make themselves available to the townsfolk in this tale.

    The story blends a pleasingly down-to-earth attitude with a distinctly otherworldly, and often surprising plot. Blending art with the everyday and mythology with faith, the author has crafted an intriguing, absorbing tale, whose gently complete but distinctly non-final ending, invites readers to look for more. I sincerely hope I’ll get to read the sequel, Angelos, sometime.

    Disclosure: I was made aware of a free ecopy of this novel and am delighted to offer my honest review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2005

    Jerome and the Seraph

    Many people wonder what people will say about them at their funeral. Jerome, an ill fated young friar, gets the chance to find out however for him, death is just the start of something larger. Following his move to the spiritual plane, Jerome is befriended by the ginger tom cat he was kind to in life. After the cat tells the young man that his true name is not Leo but Quant and animals all talk in that world, Quant shows him how to move between worlds. Jerome now has the opportunity to learn about the world presently inhabits as well as the material one. He sees he was not as essential as the imagined to the little abbey, and to learn that his brothers are more dimensional than he believed. No one is either as good or bad as he perceived in life, nor is his role at the abbey completely finished. ................ For making complex concepts comprehensible and entertaining to the average reader, this story is to be commended. The simplistic style could be read by a child, but it does not condescend to the audience. However, Christians who adhere to the reformed doctrines or fundamental Christianity will find the universalism advocated by the author to be a weak point in the inspirational aspect of the story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2005

    Brilliant Fantasy Novel

    The concept of life after death has plagued the human mind since self-awareness dawned upon it. To exist here in our world, bathed in the complexities of life, to then fall into a black abyss is intolerable. Far better to go to a place where peace and beauty are the mainstays of existence. Life can sometimes take unexpected turns and throw one into the realms of the psyche not known to exist. So it was with young Father Jerome. Taken from his fellow friars by a bizarre twist of fate. Slipping on some iced grass, Jerome hit his head on a gravestone. The weird part of this was whom the gravestone belonged to. It was in memory of Father Aloysius, a long time member of the Friary. He had just passed on and was fresh in his grave. Jerome was attending the burial when he slipped. Now he found himself interned in the same grave, which he felt was rather comical. This one fatal slip now gave him an opening to understanding how life and death functioned. He found himself in strange place known as the afterworld. The first person he saw in his new home was Father Aloysius. It seemed the old Friar was most upset that his burial was the cause of Jerome¿s early passing. Jerome did not place any blame on Aloysius for his death; it was just an unfortunate accident. What puzzled him was that he still felt alive and that Leo, the Friary cat, whom he knew was not dead, existed in the afterworld too. Leo, whose real name was Quant, introduced Jerome to a new existence. It was one that both frustrated and frightened the young Friar. All that he knew of physics and the world of the living, he found now turned upon itself. Quant showed him how to travel from the land of the dead to the land of the living. Jerome discovered the dead are not dead but lived on as functioning beings in the afterworld. As did the old gods of the classic period, whose function to provide an explanation of life was gone, replaced by a deeper meaning. Jerome finally gets to master the problems of traveling between one world and the next. He agrees to go on a spy mission for Brother Bernard. The mission is not what one would call an overwhelming success but it does lead into an interesting finale to the book. It gives the reader a look at the inner turmoil one of the story¿s main antagonists, Father Fidelis. A man seen as an autocrat with a grudge against anything that brings pleasure. Yet the tough outer shell hides a quivering fragility of doubt and weakness. It is a part of Fidelis that Jerome was never aware of when part of the real world. Robina Williams has raised the mystique of fantasy to a new level. She has created a world that uplifts the reader to understand with clarity, the questions many of us ask about what happens when we leave this world. Her crafting of the plot and the creation of the characters is brilliant. I really enjoyed reading the book and feel more knowledgeable about myself because of it. If you are looking for a book that entertains, provokes deep thinking and gives a sense of satisfaction, then look no further. Jerome and the Seraph is indeed a truly wonderful book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A winner

    Slipping on the icy ground of the cemetery, Brother Jerome smacks his head against the gravestone of Father Aloysius. His peers gave him a nice funeral but ironically buried him at the site in which he died........................... When he first died, he briefly meets Aloysius who apologizes to Jerry, but that seem like a lifetime ago as Jerome finds the afterworld is void of anyone even angels except for Leo the friary cat, who is alive and well back in his former residence. Jerome is confused as there are no cherubs or angels with harps. Leo explains to Jerome that his real name is Quantum, but he can call him Quant and that it is easy to cross between the land of the living and the dead, which is why he resides here and at the friary. Simply Jerome must modify his belief system so that he can see and soon other spirits and doors to dimensions will be there. Of course coordinates are critical or else one can become the star of a painting or a branch of a tree............................. JEROME AND THE SERAPH is a simple entertaining book that ironically connects complex topics (the afterlife, mythology, and quantum physics) into a wonderful fantasy that hooks readers from the moment Al and Jerry exchange a few words. The tale never lets go until Brother Jerome completes his journeys though Quant steals the show. Fans who appreciate an amusing with serious undertone adventure tale will appreciate Jerome Through the Looking Glass guided by Quant the Cheshire cat........................ Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2014

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