Love and the Goddess is the story of a woman’s journey to greater self-awareness and confidence. The novel begins with Kate pandering to her dominating husband, as she clearly has done for many years, and her world falls apart when he confesses that he has fallen in love with another woman and he wants a divorce. The marriage split sets Kate on a soul searching mission that takes her to South America to spend time with a faith healer and a shaman. She is accompanied by her good friend, James (who is gay), his sister, Maria, and Kate’s best friend, Ella.
Kate has subjugated her spiritual side during her many years of marriage, because Trevor didn’t agree with what he saw as her hippie leanings. Now that she doesn’t have to please him any more, she is free to pursue her interest in the matters of the spirit. After a strict catholic childhood, Kate has some issues to work through regarding spirituality, but she has always had a connection with the Holy Spirit and comes to see the it as the goddess energy that plays a role in the spirituality of all cultures.
While this is happening in an inner level, Kate plays with Internet dating, changing sites and Goddess personas in line with her inner development. It’s a clever idea, and entertaining, and it works well. The early dating scenes were most enjoyable.
On one level this is simply good women’s fiction, but it is also visionary fiction in its focus on spiritual development. The author has achieved their aims well with this book. The spiritual wisdom is embedded in the novel in a casual, non-dogmatic, and practical way. Kate is a modern woman with the same kinds of stresses as all of us, but instead of letting things go on as they always have, after her marriage falls apart, she does her best to break out of old habits and live her life with more awareness.
Kate’s quest to find a mate provides the plot. The question we want answered is, will she find someone and who will it be? She has challenges with her job and her daughter as well, but throughout the story there remains the question of a man. Does she even need one? The pacing is good, generally steady and even but with a few quicker moments.
All the characters are well developed and easy to relate to and the prose is excellent.
The only reason I’m not giving this five stars is that I feel the writing was just a touch too reserved. I would like to have felt Kate’s feelings, but the story was mostly about what she did, not what she felt or experienced. The writing was clean, sparse and elegant but it could have gone deeper, and the book would have worked better if it had. As it was, Kate’s motivations for her actions didn’t come across very strongly, and in some instances seemed a little superficial. The outer reason for her visit to South America was explained, but not the inner reason and in a book about developing self-awareness the inner part is very important. Nevertheless, this is an excellent example of the new wave of independent visionary fiction.
I approve it for addition to the Awesome Indies list of quality independent fiction.
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