The Reluctant Goddess

The Reluctant Goddess - A.F. Firebird After millennia of having to keep a hands off approach to guiding humanity, Hector, servant of LIFE, is in place for an awe inspiring moment – the manifestation of Quan Yin, goddess of compassion, into a human form.Of course, this isn’t an easy task. Not least of which is trying to get the human form that houses Quan Yin to realise who they actually are. After numerous failed attempts, he reaches Ellena, middle aged divorcee who runs a book store in a rural town in the south of England.Posing as her dog, with his student, Boudica (yes, that Boudica) posing as Fluffy, her cat, they work to try and help Ellena realise her true nature – and the wonder of the world around herThis book was not remotely how I pictured it would be, not from the title, and I think it’s very much going to be a Marmite book, one that very much depends on your taste and preferences.This isn’t an exciting book. It isn’t an adventure book. It isn’t a book with shiny magic or magnificent powers or some mortal woman suddenly running around throwing lightning bolts and declaring herself to be Athena.This is a book about philosophy and ways of seeing the world. It’s a book about viewpoints and perspectives and transcendence and the nature of reality. In this book the main characters aren’t the goddess, but the people – Hector and Boudica, trying to encourage Elena, the goddess, to achieve her true potential. And she isn’t a goddess of lightening or the hunt or fire; she’s Quan Yin, a goddess of compassion, of mercy. She doesn’t perform miracles, but her very presence in the world will increase the level of love and compassion felt by all things, subtly changing reality in a variety of ways to generally elevate the world and humanity.Hector and Boudica try to inspire Elena. They try to protect her against things that would both shake her world view of goodness, but also things that would close her down, narrow her, focus her more on the mundane than in the higher, the spiritual and the greater. At the same time we also have Elena’s fears and worries as she becomes more disconnected, worrying as the mundane world becomes less important to her and her ties become more fragile.We also see that Elena is not the first attempt to manifest Quan Yin and previous attempts had tried to help her achieve awareness but had failed on many levels and driving down several different pathsIt’s all extremely deep, extremely thoughtful and extremely involved. It’s a book that makes you sit and think. It’s a book that makes you skim backwards and reread to be sure you actually understood that part. It’s a book that could use a re-reading for more nuance. It’s a book with elements you probably never will understand and are never meant to understand but will give you ideas to chew on for some time afterwards.It’s also kind of like picking up a fantasy book and being force-fed a philosophy text book instead.Read More