Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Love & The Goddess by Mary Elizabeth Coen

Food and travel have always been two of my passions, and especially since my own Asian adventure earlier this year, I’m even more drawn to books involving life changing personal journeys. 

Kate Canavan’s journey begins following the breakdown of her marriage and a health scare. Kate and her friends travel to Brazil to visit a healer and then onto Peru for spiritual guidance from the native gurus there. 

Hoping to rediscover the strong woman she is, how to love and also how to forgive, Kate has lots to learn. When she returns home to Ireland, plenty happens for her to put her new found wisdoms into practice. 

Kate has a strong appreciation for art and mythology, and it is the Goddess theme, not just from Greek mythology, but from a range of cultures which inspires Kate in multiple aspects of her life. One myth that really speaks to her is the Triple Goddess Myth featuring Persephone, Demeter and Hekate, and Kate seems to go through stages reflecting each mythical woman as she lives out her own journey. I have an interest in mythology myself so I really enjoyed those parts of the story. 

The travel aspect of this book is detailed and an integral part of the story. The descriptions of Brazil and Peru give you a real sense of the people that live there and the religion and spirituality of those places are thoroughly explored. There is something quite calming about reading scenes of meditation, ritual and reflection that I real enjoyed. 

Kate is a culinary teacher and so food is another ingredient of this novel that I loved. It describes not only the tastes of Brazil and Peru, but also Kate’s innate passion for food whether eating out or cooking at home, all of which makes for some mouth-watering paragraphs! 

Kate is a relatable lead; her trials and tribulations on online dating were fun and at times all too true, and you really feel for her throughout the story. She is joined by a cast of equally relatable and/or interesting characters, not all likeable, but each has a part to play in the story. 

This book definitely has an Eat Pray Love vibe to it, so Love & The Goddess is definitely one to try if you enjoyed that book. There are so many parts to this story to connect with; food, travel, religion and spirituality, romance and relationships, and all these elements have been woven together effectively into a genuinely engaging story. 

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