From Publishers Weekly
In this addition to the author's Sisters of the Shield series, Agnes Whistling Elk and Ruby Plenty Chiefs, the native American teachers who guided Andrews's explorations of her past lives, aid her journey into a future lifetime. Andrews ( The Woman of Wyrrd ) describes herself as a young Japanese meeting with an elderly woman named Shakkai, a teacher who shows her the "captured garden," which has the power to heal souls and the earth through its feminine energy. This movement into other dimensions occurs in the process of "double dreaming," by which one can project oneself "into a time span of experience different from . . . present reality." This New Age narrative, slipping between present and future settings and heavy with symbolism, will please readers who share Andrews's spiritual orientation.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
In a bizarre addition to her Sisters of the Shield series (The Woman of Wyrrd, 1990, etc.), Andrews recounts her ``spiritual'' adventures in a future life as a young Japanese woman, an acolyte of Shakkai, keeper of the sacred gardens--an image of nature, its healing power, and the inner female life. Encouraged by her longtime spiritual guides, the indefatigable Cree women Agnes Whistling Elk and Ruby Plenty Chiefs, Andrews ``double dreams'' herself back and forth between her cabin in Manitoba and a Japanese countryside. In Japan, through Shakkai, she meets a demonic ``tea master'' who is jealous of her writing, and acquires a hu, a gourd resembling Agnes's ``celestial rattle''--a symbol of inner power, the ``uterus of all life,'' a ``universal womb'' that rather lewdly resembles a phallus. She also acquires a samurai lover who is about to decapitate her at both the beginning and end of the book--a brutal and totally mysterious action that, like their coupling, her vomiting, and her eating beef jerky and sharing a Coke and a sandwich with a couple of sorcerers, seems to contradict the spirituality, beauty, and peace she claims to have derived from her experience. Indeed, whatever Andrews's enlightenment consisted of, it did not include the power of speech: the stilted dialogue, the ``pigeon'' English of her various teachers, the clichs in which they express their message--all recall at best the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Without illumination or even casual connection, Andrews's odyssey comes off more like a psychotic episode than a spiritual journey, displaying apparent dissociation, dislocation, a disordered sense of time, hallucinations, and an inability--or at least unwillingness--to distinguish fantasy from reality. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.