Book Reviews
The Return of the Goddess: Elizabeth Cunningham
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Return of the Goddess: Elizabeth Cunningham
The Return of the Goddess: Elizabeth Cunningham

The events in this great big (in every sense of the word) celebration of a book begin on All Hallow’s Eve, when Esther Peters, wife of the local rector, finds she has unthinkingly fashioned a primitive and sexually abundant figure of the Goddess out of play dough. Something huge has been set in motion, something that will change Esther and the small town of White Hart for ever.

Elizabeth Cunningham has created a host of wonderful characters, each perfectly realised and, thanks to the depth of her imagination and observation, each starting from the page to pull the reader inwards and onwards. But it’s the Goddess herself who flows through everything, deepening the work with her legacy of magic – imparted so skilfully by the author that the teaching throughout the book – teaching that ranges generously across different belief-systems – could pass unnoticed. It could almost be called a Novel of the Mysteries. And Elizabeth Cunningham is well-qualified to impart the Mysteries – being not only a practising priestess but:

…a direct descendant of nine generations of Episcopal priests. She grew up hearing rich (sometimes terrifying) liturgical and biblical language. When she was not in church or school, she read fairytales and fantasy novels or wandered in the Wood next door to the rectory.

(quoted from her website.)

This is a novel with many layers, not least of which is humour – the subtitle, A Divine Comedy does not lie – one with built-in empowerment for women, one every woman should read, whatever beliefs she holds.

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