I had a fair amount of difficulty with this book, first in getting a satisfactory hold on the plot, and keeping all the appendages in view. Here’s what I made of the plot: Ann Pauline engages the services of hypnotist Marcus Belling for past life regression. Anne is full of anxieties, insecurities, and pain, and feels that the answer to her ‘freedom’ lies in the past. It is believed that getting there is only technically possible if she is hypnotized. She starts sessions with Belling and every time she is sent onto the past, she learns more about herself and her relationships with Belling and others around her. Eventually she gets the ‘freedom consciousness’ she seeks by being regressed under hypnotism, but this time she is accompanied by her hypnotist – [what? - two bodies in the office and two ‘bodies’ in the past? –fascinating!
The story is about her ups and downs, and the linkages she discovers with people in her previous lives. But that is not all, far from it. On discovering that Belling had betrayed her in that life, and she is set on revenge. So in her present life she makes a pact with Salvaterra, Belling’s arch-competitor in the hypnotism business. She also discovers that actions taken in her past lives against [past-lives] Belling lead to professional and mental ruin for [present-life] Belling.
In one of her regressions, she is taken to the Forgotten Island, where live the Seagulls, the keepers of Wisdom and its dissemination to mankind as appropriate. Ann Pauline is sworn to secrecy concerning its existence, and is also given a very powerful keepsake, which she is to use when appropriate.
The underpinnings of the story are not nice, and among the people to whom Ann Pauline is linked include rampant professional jealousy and associated damaging actions; professional exclusivity of related disciplines; greed; mistrust and distrust; and people taking sides. These occur throughout the past life experiences, and reflect into the present. Everyone, including so-called ‘oracles’, desire to possess the Seagull gift because of its tremendous power to work in any business. Ann Pauline successfully protects the gift until she has completed her mission. And she finds her happiness, but not before destroying the man who had betrayed her in a previous life.
I found the plot of the story very intriguing, as were the various regression theories offered by several hypnotists: theory of vocations (to explain current talents and activity choices); theory of the soul (using alchemist principles; theory of scents; theory of bonds; theory of magnetism for healing - among others. Many of these theories carry an implication of cross fertilization of hypnotism by ‘other disciplines’. But, unlike present practice, such mixing is frowned upon by the Hypnotist Council, which takes a ‘no-fusion’ approach in legalizing practices. Other takeaways include the ‘birds of a feather’ principle we all know. The answer given is that because their past lives are intertwined, individuals carry issues they must attempt to resolve in the current life. You the reader can find much more that is interesting in the story.
Let me warn you that you will have to exert a tremendous amount of will to finish the book. The story itself is like a wide river flowing down to the sea, and having many tributaries. The hypnotized Ann Pauline ’sails’ up the river and has access to various tributaries (locations of her past lives). Most unfortunate for the [English speaking] reader, the river and its tributaries are strewn with ‘rocks and debris’ in the form of very poor (or no) editing… bad grammar; misplaced gender connections (he/she); poor spelling; no subject in sentences or clauses, and tremendous repetition. I will not go on because these occur throughout the book and the reader soon encounters them. They are very distracting and for me, they smother the interest of the story plot. It seems that the manuscript were originally in Spanish; the missing factor is an edit for the English speaking reader.
In fact this feature of the book is so pervasive, that, though I admire the author’s attempt at the plot (that I understood), and was excited by the events, I can only rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. If revised, this would be a much better book, and get a much better rating.
- Paperback: 346 pages
- Publisher: Maria Inês Rebelo (17 September 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 191214557X
- ISBN-13: 978-1912145577
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 449 g
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