I loved this novel so much and, like all the best and most timely reads, I chose it almost by accident, feeling my way into the author via a particular root I was following (“root” feels like exactly the right word…) via Maya Angelou, thinking “ah yes, Alice Walker, I haven’t read anything by her since ‘The Color Purple’, a very long time ago…” What I really didn’t want was to go back in time, turn the clock back to old pain, old female or cultural injustices fifty or a hundred or more years ago, which felt done with; I wanted something current, relevant to where I am, to a place poised to write a new ending. “Now is the time” could be my very mantra, these days…informing my every preoccupation away from what feels complete now and asking loudly to be considered healed; signed off as useful but finished.
It turned out, the themes here couldn’t have been in better sync with where I am right now, exploring the divine feminine and the possibility of realising a particular kind of relationship with a man (Yolo and Kate remind me so much of my husband and I, even down to his “bear spirit”…) that allows that to remain intact and to thrive and unfold in them both. Then her calling to journey along rivers and to the jungle to meet with Grandmother (Ayahuasca)…ultimately, to recognise that she IS the embodiment of Grandmother…felt right on-time with my preoccupations and personal epiphanies. This was one of those novels where I itched to underline whole sections; where the timeless truth of the words, delivered like the inside of my own head, jumped out from the page. I recommend it to any woman on a journey of self-discovery, of return and of learning to live in a world where fear is never quite gone but can be befriended, viewed differently; without the separation that has kept us from ourselves. There’s almost too much to share in a short review but I know I will be returning to this, and drawing on it in some of my writing, for a very long time.
See review on Goodreads
I bought this one fairly recently Helen, after realising that I’d lost touch with Alice Walker. I haven’t read it yet, though I read ‘The Same River Twice’ in the meantime.
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Hope you enjoy as much as I did, Ive started another one now, The temple of my familiar…it hasnt drawn me in as much but then I seem to have my non-fiction head on again too.
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