First off, a public apology. It’s been a few months since Lynne Rowland was kind enough to send me a copy of her novel The Gnosis of the Salmon but work, life, and everything in between drew my attention away from you know, actually reading it. So, Lynne, I’m sorry it has taken so long to get this review written!
OK, first of all, this is a novel. I am not going to make any claims about how much of the story is real and how much isn’t. I suspect it is based on the authors own life, but I’m not going to base my review on it as a memoir, but as a novel.
The story is told by Elinore, or Eli as she is know by her family. It bounces around a little, which is actually pretty normal once you realize that Eli is sharing her story of healing, and as we all know, healing rarely occurs in anything that looks like a strict timeline. Eli goes through the process of remembering things about her childhood and also learning about her families secrets at the same time. She goes from anger and hatred all the way through finding healing and even learning forgiveness. She is aided in this journey by spirit guides and reiki treatments.
I realize that might be a turn off for some of you. That’s fine. There’s quite a lot of spirituality and a little girl’s fantasy in the story. I will say, however, that even if you do not consider yourself spiritual, and don’t believe in any of the same things that Eli uses to heal, I do believe that any survivor will find some common themes. Things like a repeating cycle of abuse, of needing to face the past before we can heal, and finding the strength from within ourselves, even when we don’t feel strong, are all things we can identify with, even if we can’t identify exactly with what Eli is doing.
One of the things I really liked about the book was the end. Even after working through the memories and finding a way to forgive, Eli was still not truly healed. It takes more than simply getting over being abused. Life is not about finding a way to deal with the pain, but finding a way to move past it and open yourself up to the life you want to lead. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but I found that message to be a very powerful one.
You can find out more about the book, and the author on her website.