A spiritual journal alternates with scenes of historical fiction.
The second book from Carrasco (Finding the Fall, 1996) takes the form of the author’s journal of spiritual discovery, centering on his belief in personal reincarnation in various time periods. He is Luna, captured by hostile Indians in the 1850s; he is Joseph, who fights and dies in World War II; he may be Seton, a Civil War soldier killed at Cold Harbor. The author evokes each of these people and eras in some detail, sometimes skillfully (of Seton’s friend Paul, we learn that: “Fore Paul, the war’s end meant that he was finally free from the burden of killing everything and anything that moved in blue”). The sections forming Paul’s reminiscences of life in the frontier Arizona Territory of the 1890s are interesting, as are some of the frequent digressions into purely spiritual matters made by an alternate voice claiming to live inside Carrasco, sometimes good-naturedly teasing the author for his self-centeredness and explicitly identifying itself as his inner spirit: “So who am I? I am, ‘The Essence.’ Some might call me the Soul!” These spiritual passages contain what could be called the book’s teachings, the means of finding “the path back to the Light of the Eternal Father’s Embrace.” Like the rest of the book, these passages revolve around the concept of reincarnation—believers perfect themselves through many lifetimes. Unfortunately, the book’s many weaknesses tend to distract from these insights. These flaws range from the book’s journal format, which includes daily minutia (we’re told, for example, that the author has figured out that he writes while on his couch because the couch has a right-hand armrest, and he’s right-handed), to sloppy editing (many proper names, including those of Saddam Hussein and his sons, are misspelled).
A frustratingly haphazard dramatization of a personal journey through reincarnation.