MotherTalk Review: The Reincarnationist

October 17, 2007 at 3:04 am 2 comments

I dig a book that makes me eager for free moments so I can sneak pages, and The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose, my second MotherTalk review book, was one of those. I opted to review it not because I’m a big suspense reader (I’m not) but because I find the topic of reincarnation fascinating, and this novel promised a juicy plot about this topic.

Here’s how I tie it to the bigger questions of this blog: Is this life “enough”?!  And if there’s more to our karma than meets the present-tense eye, wouldn’t that tie into our notions of success?

Back to the novel, M.J. Rose combines her own experience and research with reincarnation, some in-depth historical research, and her obvious flair for sizzling, lusty plotlines to create a 400-plus-page book that I gobbled up in three days.  I appreciated the authenticity in the experiences of the characters, and I found myself wishing I could see people’s auras through my camera lens the way main character Josh Ryder could.  Is there more to our souls’ journeys that we could understand now?  I like that this book made me wonder.

Now, this is not to say I didn’t have some problems with the book, which I did. The hero, Josh Ryder/Julius, is torn between lives in the present and in ancient Rome. This dichotomy is well-developed, but I must say I wish Rose had connected certain plot pieces in the end that she did not. (I’m not looking for a pat ending, but I tend to go by the filmmaking theory that if you show the viewer a purple shoe, then you later need to follow up with the purple shoe.)  In other words, there were a few things that begged to be connected in the end that were not. (Is she planning a sequel, perhaps? I’d pick that up.)

Then there is another storyline of Percy, Josh/Julius’ reincarnation in the 1800’s, which doesn’t quite mesh with the otherwise well-woven plot until the very end.  This 1800’s plotline felt a bit like that tacked-on “gag” story they always had on Friends or Seinfeld (yes, I went to college in the early 90’s!) – there wasn’t much meat there.  It answered some key questions late in the book (so hang in there with it), but it felt as if chunks of it had to be left on the cutting room floor, or else it wasn’t fully developed.

Still, despite those minor frustrations, I kept turning the pages because I wanted to know what happened to these characters. That, to me, is a successful read.  And, of course, I appreciated Rose delving into the topic of reincarnation in a novel, and the fact that she made me think again about those moments in life that I’ve said to myself, “I know this person” when we’d barely met, or “I’ve been here before” in places I hadn’t visited in my conscious memory.

Any book that pushes beyond our narrow understanding of life has the potential to open our eyes to things we haven’t noticed before.  I’ll be watching for auras when I next tote my Nikon around — looking for more than I’ve seen before in my viewfinder — and I’ll be paying more attention to deja vus.  For me, that’s “enough” to make this novel worth the three-day read.

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Entry filed under: Books, Spirituality.

A Good Laugh On Friendship

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Melissa  |  October 17, 2007 at 4:37 am

    I think there’s more to life than this life– being a “success” here won’t cut it for me.

    What about for the characters? How would they define success– in one life? Many lives? Every life? Interesting to think about.

    Reply
  • […] Having Enough says “M.J. Rose combines her own experience and research with reincarnation, some in-depth historical research, and her obvious flair for sizzling, lusty plotlines to create a 400-plus-page book that I gobbled up in three days.  I appreciated the authenticity in the experiences of the characters, and I found myself wishing I could see people’s auras through my camera lens the way main character Josh Ryder could.  Is there more to our souls’ journeys that we could understand now?  I like that this book made me wonder.” […]

    Reply

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To spark conversation about redefining success (as individuals, families and institutions) and to counter "never enough" messages currently circulating in our culture.

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Megan Pincus Kajitani: Writer, Editor, Former Academic Overachiever and Career Counselor, Mom, Wife, Feminist, Gen Xer, Californian who believes that change is possible View Megan Pincus Kajitani's profile on LinkedIn

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