More New Age yarnspinning from pop guru Chopra (Soulmate, 2001, etc.), this time about a young Boston writer’s quest for spiritual fulfillment.
Plenty of people have trouble settling down in their 20s. Take Jess Conover. At 28, Jeff is still an aspiring writer (emphasis on “aspiring”) who ekes out a living as the rewrite man at a weekly paper in Boston. Jeff’s girlfriend Renee recently left him, but they’re still in touch and may get back together. Meanwhile, Jeff’s older sister Linny, married and with children, is eager for Jeff to find himself and raise a family. But Jeff just can’t make the commitment. All in all, Jeff is a normal American twentysomething (i.e., a superannuated adolescent). Then one day he finds an intriguing classified ad in the Boston Globe: “Love has found you. Tell no one, just come.” The ad also lists a New Hampshire phone number and (most mysterious of all) the initials “JC” (as in Jeff Conover). Jeff calls and is told to drive to New Hampshire immediately. There’s a blizzard raging outside and his ancient Camry has bald tires and a weak transmission, but he hits the road without a second thought and drives straight to the address he was given. There, he meets Dolly, an older lady who is known as a “wise woman,” and Elena, who is about Jeff’s age. Dolly and Elena are part of a secret society called the Daughters of Joy, and their mission is to initiate Jeff into “the subtle world” of spiritual bliss. This entails out-of-body experiences, hallucinations and dreams, and a lot of talk about love and mystery. Eventually, Jeff and Elena start a mystery school in Boston to carry on the work of enlightening the spiritually precocious. And Jeff finally finds out what the point of his life is.
More catechism than novel—with wooden characters, minimal plot, and dialogue so absurd (“a mystery school . . . is a place where you learn that love is a mystery”) that even Kahlil Gibran would break out laughing.