Sixty-four mystical fables purportedly told to the author by powerful, entrancing women he's encountered in a far-ranging life.
A securities attorney in Palo Alto, California, a mathematician in Amsterdam, a novelist in London, a hitchhiker, a carpenter, and a longtime resident of the city of Salamanca are among the storytellers credited with the short tales recounted by Nightingale (Granada: Pomegranate in the Hand of God, 2015, etc.) in his new collection. Each one sheds some light on the nature of life, love, death, sex, time, and other stuff like that. For example, a Bible scholar he meets at a theology conference in New Orleans (where he is able to observe that, as a group, theologians “have an abiding affection for gumbo and rum drinks”) offers a retelling of the story of the Garden of Eden that erases original sin and makes Eve a hero. After spending the day with a Moroccan woman in her kitchen in Fez, the author learns that “Honey in the cupboard is still sweet" and “What you pay for with money, you buy with your life.” A woman who works at the Elliot Bay bookstore in Seattle reveals that “the life we choose [is] more disconcerting and extraordinary than many would wish: for it turns out that whatever we do, day by day and in every minute too, by our every thought and every action, whether we want to or not, we are telling each other the truth.” If these insights draw you in, make you think, or give you spiritual goosebumps, this book will be an ice cream store with 64 flavors. Many of the stories tell of women with extraordinary powers, such as “Beautiful Doctor of Faith Meets the Janitor,” heard in an ICU in Dallas, Texas.
A light-footed exploration of the mysteries of our existence, with the consistent theme that paradise is here on Earth.