Vance details her coming-of-age in the 1970s, including her journey of self-discovery, spiritual awakening and acceptance of self that has lasted four decades.
A child of divorce in the tumultuous ’70s, Vance experiments with drugs, sex and spirituality starting with the Jesus Movement and trekking through a variety of world religions and belief systems on her walk-about quest for spiritual enlightenment. Her journey takes her around the world and includes an ever-changing cast of lovers and friends, beginning with Burkhard, the man who would be her first love and the one who first betrayed her. Her experiences illuminate the darker side of humanity and include date rape, abuse and five abortions, yet each are instrumental in leading her deeper in her quest for understanding. Those moments in her life finally open her up to the concept that, in her words, “[w]e are all in a very sophisticated holographic virtual reality game.” Her belief that those involved with organized religions are unenlightened is implied throughout while she enthusiastically touts the freedom and oneness with the universe that is achieved with meditation and remembrance of past lives. Peace is ultimately achieved when she realizes that relationships are contracted and agreed upon before birth in an effort to work out negative energy and ensure that karma is satisfied. While the essence of the book reminds one of Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love (2007), Vance’s choppy prose lacks the finesse and flow of that work; Vance transitioning from past to present and future within a single paragraph. For those that share Vance’s search for understanding, the memoir will spur an increased determination to delve into the mysteries of life. Those who follow conventional belief systems will find the book a random collection of philosophies and ideas formed into predictable New Age chatter.
A candid, unrefined look at one woman’s spiritual quest.