Verdict: The concept of spirituality is often difficult to grasp, but Cromer provides an analysis as clear and accessible as any I've read.
Author Michelle Cromer effectively mixes personal anecdotes—she was raised by a blunt mom in Texas—with all-encompassing insights in a comprehensive, organized structure.
Cromer breaks down her quest into seven stages: “The Wake-up Call”, “Denial and Fear”, “The Search for Deeper Spiritual Meaning”, “The Dark Night of the Soul”, “Spiritual Surrender”, “The Clarity Moment”, and “Where Am I Going?” She writes of dealing with pain, fighting denial, moving to a higher plane (but not without difficulty) and her eventual breakthrough. There is so much to absorb in this 162 page book, it might require a second reading.
A successful business person, Cromer was married with children, and—on the surface, living a good life. But she had also lost a child at birth, had another born blind and discovered that her husband was cheating, leading to their divorce. At one point, Cromer notes, she seriously considered suicide. But all of these stories are tempered with humor, a welcome ingredient that allows her to avoid sounding overly preachy or maudlin.
Cromer meets a number of fascinating people on her journey. Her telling of her involvement in the investigation of young women murdered in Mexico in the ‘90s adds intrigue to the book. Another narrative—which is quite moving—concerns a classmate of her daughter’s who developed cancer.
The concept of spirituality is often difficult to grasp, but Cromer provides an analysis as clear and accessible as any I’ve read. One might argue that many of her conclusions are familiar from previous writings and there is little original here. My favorite, to paraphrase, is that we are not expected to rise above the human condition, but to emerge somehow intact. It is just that type of observation that makes this book worth checking out.
Reviewed by Joe Del Priore
BA in English. Teacher. Mailman. Currently enjoying retirement. Eclectic reader. Eclectic writer for almost thirty years. Published indie author.