Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
By Suzanne Weyn, a well-known Young Adult author, Reincarnation follows a pair of soul mates from the stone age to modern times. Weyn does a very good job of developing the complexities of reincarnation as the book progresses so that with each chapter, the reader gains more insight into the wheel of rebirth, as she terms it. One of the book’s more intriguing insights is a brief glimpse into the life of the soul between incarnations.
Story: From prehistory to the present, theirs was a love for the ages. It starts with a fight in a cave over an elusive green jewel . . . and then travels over time and lives to include Egyptian slaves, Greek temples, Massachusetts witch trials, Civil War battlefields, Paris on the eve of World War II, America in the 1960s . . . and a pair of modern-day teenagers. For readers who believe that love is stronger than time or death. (From Amazon.com)
Spiritual/metaphysical content: Very high. The book walks through the multiple phases of reincarnation as it follows a boy and a girl who first meet in prehistoric times. It draws consistent themes throughout the various lives, including demonstrating how not only soul mates tend to incarnate together but also family and friends who help them learn and grow over time. The plot employs enough variety to make the reincarnation theme plausible, such as shifting genders and occasionally misaligning time frames. In addition, the story demonstrates how certain weaknesses and talents also carry across multiple lifetimes. As the pair experience more lifetimes and become more spiritually and socially sophisticated, the book introduces more metaphysical themes. As each incarnation progresses, the couple learn to conquer their fears and recognize their love more readily. The reader gradually gleans more information about life between lives as well.
My take: I liked this book very much. Weyn does an excellent job of developing the complexities of reincarnation as the book progresses so that with each chapter, the reader gains more insight into the wheel of rebirth, as she terms it. Of course, it’s difficult for the story to be other than predictable, but Weyn is able to capture the lovers’ emotions across time so that the reader is drawn into the story. Her insight into various time periods, from Greek civilization to the Salem witch trials, also gives the book variety and spice. Several of the twentieth-century stories seemed particularly vibrant, including the tale of a young singer in Paris that echoes the Josephine Baker story and the challenges of racial integration in the mid-1960s. As new age fiction, this is one of the better contemporary novels I have come across, with a compelling story line and a strong grounding in metaphysics.
Reincarnation, by Suzanne Weyn
Published by Scholastic Press, 2008
Paperback, 293 pages
Buy at Amazon