I bought this book on a whim along with four others by the author after watching the feature-length documentary Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth. Alice is probably best known for her 1982 book The Colour Purple, which was later adapted into a film and a musical of the same name. I was so moved by her life story, and the reflections of myself I saw within (she does have that gift of reaching universally, and directly, to you), that I was compelled to buy the books within moments of the credits rolling.
This fictional tale of Kate and her lover, Yolo, was a much easier read than the type of book I usually go for, but long before its end I realised I had underestimated its potent, timeless message. The book’s blurb focusses on the rather corny question of whether Kate and Yolo’s paths will lead back to each other from their respective journeys, but (don’t worry, no spoilers) this question ultimately seemed neither here nor there; there was so much more depth and realisation for both characters and reader along the way. I will say that the ending was a nice, big, fat, round and juicy one. And I do think good endings are so hard to come by, particularly when you’ve enjoyed a book so heartily, as I did.
I learnt something from every page of this book, whether from the perspective of a spiritual being, feminist, humanist or writer, there was always something nourishing to feast upon. I learnt of motherhood, of grandmotherhood, and the intricately intrinsic cornerstones of deep self and planetary care with the newborn eyes of fresh perspective through Alice Walker’s lens. At times incubated, womb-like, and at others swept along like the rivers Kate traverses on her travels, the result is as sacred and complete as birth itself.