“Read from June 04 to 05, 2013
Paperback, 390 pages
Published February 6th 2013 by GoddessMECA
edition language English
original title Love & the Goddess
Source:Book from author in exchange for honest review
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One woman, one myth, three goddesses
When Cookery teacher Kate Canavan’s perfect life falls apart she moves to nearby Galway City.
Her friend James urges her to love and nurture herself, but mischievous Ella persuades her to dust off her unused dating skills. So Kate explores the world of on-line dating using the name of a Greek Goddess. In the midst of a mad dating frenzy, Kate has a traumatic health scare which convinces her to drop everything and go in search of a guru.
First stop a famous healer's ashram in Brazil followed by a shamanic journey through Peru, where a shaman tells her how to harness the energy of the Goddess and the Divine Feminine. Kate’s journey of self discovery continues apace after she returns home and events unfold in a surprising manner, as she learns to think for herself.
As someone whose love of mythology is only surpassed by my love of a good recipe this book manages to engage both my mind and gastronomic tastes quite well. The character of Kate Canavan embodies in a way many women as she shows both their frailty and their strength in her actions and reactions throughout the book.
There is nothing quite like the mixture of realism and fantasy that author Mary Elizabeth Coen has so craftily combined to keep her reader's attention while allowing them to experience Kate's highs and lows as she learns to cope day by day with her newfound life. After being married for over 20 years that new life does not start off on a high note when her older husband decides that they no longer belong together as he has fallen in love with someone else.
Kate is of course devastated, married at 22 then at 44 to find out the man she has built her life with, catered to every whim of, borne children with, turned herself into the kind of woman he demanded she become and then all these years later after all the time energy and effort she has put into it her marriage is just over.
A person would think that a story revolving around the divorce of one 44 year old Irish woman would not really be a fun type of read, in this instance though the gentle humor mixed with mystical wisdom and general common sense approach to handling a life changing event make it very easy and fun for the reader.
What I liked most about Kate's character is the fact that she allows herself to be human, she has moments of self pity, she has thoughts of why me, she worries that what has happened between she and her husband will forever taint their daughter's feelings toward them but the best thing is that even with all that Kate never stops moving forward as she heals one day at a time.
Kate enters the online dating world soon after she and her husband's split, the first persona that she uses is that of Persephone as she is still very much in a vulnerable state of mind. The results that she gets are mixed and eye opening for a woman who has only ever been involved with one man in her life, her former husband.
Time goes on and Kate actually becomes quite obsessed with the online dating world, finding it both daunting and enticing at the same time, ultimately to come to her senses after starting a relationship with one of the men she finally hooks up with. Kate then has a bad health scare which leads her on the first of her journeys on the way to self healing and self enlightenment.
The author does not try to convert her reader to a belief in holistic medicine nor does she try to make light of just how hard Kate's personal journey really is, from divorce to a health scare to worry over her elderly father to mishaps while trying to find a relationship with a man she can feel herself with it all boils down to being able to finally come to grips with what Kate herself feels comfortable and happy with. That is something all of us struggle with and something that we very seldom ever totally manage in our own lives and reading along as Kate finds her way at the age of 45 is both a revelation as well as a chance to reexamine what is really necessary or important when it comes to personal validation.
The book Love & The Goddess is a tale about one woman's path to starting over, it is full of the emotional upheaval one feels when a life you love is changed in ways you never dreamed, it is a testimony to human courage, it is also a story that will shake the boundaries of what some of us believe about spiritual healing and the power of faith but most of all it is a story that we can all in some way identify with whether we are male or female because at some time in our lives we too face adversity and how we meet our trials with either determination or despair is only a small part of all that Kate's character went through. It was a true pleasure to watch how Kate persevered and triumphed at the end, finding not only her sense of self worth returned but a new beginning to a new and better life as well!
Thought provoking, humorous and totally engaging characters and stories meshed together.
[copy from author in exchange for honest review]