A rich, insightful New-Age narrative about the author’s holistic development.

In this debut account of losing a beloved family member, a woman finds hope and joy in profound moments of spiritual connection.

When Austill-Clausen lost her beloved brother to AIDS in 1995, she embarked on a journey of grief—one that she says eventually brought her to a form of enlightenment. Through her connection with nature and animals, she says, she began to discover her own connection to the spirit of her brother—and to those of others, as well. An encounter with a manatee and a spiritual epiphany while riding her horse led her to contact a spiritual teacher, Nancy Arael, who showed her the power of her chakras and meditation. In this touching narrative, Austill-Clausen intimately describes her progress toward spiritual awakening, as well as her experience of sharing it with other members of her family. In one vivid scene, she tells of a moment one morning in 1996, when she connected deeply with the rocks, ice, trees, and other elements of a secluded landscape: “I realized all stones were alive, and each had its own power. I thought about all the times I had casually picked up a rock and flung it away without asking its permission.” An occupational therapist by trade, she writes in clear, conversational prose that skips no details about her meditation experiences and visions. As a result, what begins as a sad story of grief develops into a story of a world of fairies, spirits, love, and light. Readers who are interested in chakra healing, meditation, shamanism, energy crystals, and spiritual development in general will enjoy the rich, journalistic quality of Austill-Clausen’s book, and perhaps even feel prompted to follow in her footsteps.

A rich, insightful New-Age narrative about the author’s holistic development. 

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63152-130-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 30, 2017


If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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