Leah Barkoukis

We are surrounded everyday by forces of good and evil. Sometimes our nation’s laws and leaders advance the former, other times unfortunately, the latter—just look at the result of Roe v. Wade, which has taken 55 million innocent lives in the last four decades and simultaneously unwoven the moral fabric of our society.

Although “The Tenth” by Joanne Moudy is fiction, fighting against this evil takes center stage in her gripping novel. As a paranormal thriller, the book weaves back and forth between our world and another, known as the ‘Realm of Holding.’ The main character Elizabeth, a trauma nurse, has already lost those she loved—her parents and husband, and in the process, her faith in God.

In the Realm of Holding, Joseph, the Sixth of the Nine, serves as a guide for lives moving from Earth toward Heaven, but he’s beginning to sense a great darkness every time the gateway between the two worlds opens. Though interfering in their world is forbidden, Joseph wants to understand the darkness. More importantly, however, he’s looking for a way to stop it and he believes Elizabeth can help.

All alone in a secluded cabin in the Pacific Northwest, work is all Elizabeth really has in her life. And in the Emergency Department, that means dealing with the aftermath of trauma in its most brutal forms—from assault and rape to botched abortions and car accidents. But as Joseph begins to make contact and disrupts her world, she is pushed toward love and God once again. She also comes to understand Joseph’s role in the other realm—he’s a guide for souls of unborn babies.

Our world is significantly changing, Joseph explains to Elizabeth. There are more passages, and many are now agonizingly painful. Eventually, Joseph understands the root of the darkness—one is coming who must not. And if the Tenth breaks through, it would mean the beginning of a great darkness. It’s up to Elizabeth to stop it.


Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Managing Editor at Townhall Magazine.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography