The Book Club Recommendation at the end of this post is for a novel that was written by a friend of mine, the very talented Carmel Bendon.
It was a page-turner for me. I told my book club about the book as I was so excited for Carmel and genuinely enjoyed the book. We have now organised for the her to join us at our April book club meeting to share the story of how she combined her interest in medieval spiritual women and writing, then was able to have her book published as a first time author of a novel. (She has academic books published but that doesn’t count in the world of novel publication.)
Long before I became a career counsellor, when Carmel and I were both mothers of young children in Sydney, I remember her calling to say she was dropping in to tell me something exciting. “I’ve found my bliss” she told me. When she said she was enrolling in University or study Medieval History I recall being a little scathing…not about the new degree that she was commencing, but definitely about the choice of what to study. “How can you make a career out of that?” I asked (perhaps not so politely)!
As you will see if you follow the link to Carmel’s webpage she certainly created a great career based on her studies. I am the first to admit how wrong I was back then to doubt that following her bliss was anything but wonderful!
When Carmel comes to visit and speak about my book club recommendation I’ll interview her and share her tips for writing about what interests you, then getting it published.
My Book Club Recommendation
“Grasping At Water” by Carmel Bendon
When a young, unidentified woman is pulled alive and well from Sydney Harbour in 2013, the connections to another woman – found in similar circumstances forty years earlier – present psychiatrist Kathryn Brookley with a terrible decision as the events of the present and past begin to mirror each other and the gap between truth and illusion shrinks. When the young woman goes further and declares that she has lived continuously since coming to ‘understanding’ in the 14th century, her vivid accounts of life, love, childbirth, and loss in the Middle Ages seem so authentic that they test Kathryn’s scientific objectivity to the limit. As Kathryn delves she discovers that she is not the only one whose habitual assumptions about life have been torn asunder by an apparent experience of the miraculous in connection with the mystery woman.