Are soulmates meant only for the sole purpose of each other's happiness? Could there be a greater purpose for the joining of lives? A purpose that could eventually save the lives of hundreds of people? That is what Gary Stewart Branfman has suggested in his book, "Surreal Eternity". I believe he has stated his case well. Carole is a Jewish widow and mother of two teenaged boys. She is the Chair "man" of the Board of a hospital in New York, her grandfather having started the clinic many years before. She lives in an estate on Long Island. Ha-med is an Arab widower, raising his daughter, Aneesa, with the help of his in-laws. His wife died in childbirth not long after he began working for a prestigious architecture firm in New York City. After five years of mourning her loss, in the gardens of the hospital where she died, he meets an angel. Aneesa is drawn to the beautiful woman, as is Ha-med, and the soulmates recognize each other. Ha-med is the head architect for the hospital's renovations. He has earned this honor, and we learn how goodwill has helped him to achieve this goal. Throughout the story, we learn through flashbacks of Ha-med's life and Carole's, the circumstances that drew them together all along. The author gives insight into these two different cultural backgrounds, through family history and the history of a cruel world. More than that, he gives insight into the true purpose of our ancient religious leader's words. It matters not what religion we follow, so long as the end result is the same...Do unto others as you would have done unto you. There are lessons here for those who need them. Conflicts over religious differences, ignorance, and closed minds are overcome or at least worked through. The characters are strong and represent wisdom through their actions that we can only hope the majority of the world possess. The author's use of a character's history gives depth to the story, to the character's persona and lends substance to the entire novel. The plot is intricate and an example of how fate works its wonders, but proving that we rarely actually understand how synchronicity affects our lives. The plot also demonstrates how our lives affect the lives of so many others, often without our knowledge. On the lighter side, this is a wonderful love story that includes all aspects of family life, from the innocence of a child's understanding of love, to the passion of the honeymoon suite. "Surreal Eternity" is a very well done novel.