I bought the book several years ago and told myself I would read it at the right time. Now, so it seems, is the right time for both reading the novel and ironically opening my heart/spirit.
I read Alice Walker's aforementioned novel in one week; it's quite the page turner. It was an easy read despite the difficult subject manner. It read like an essay that was a tad preachy. I find the older I get I prefer my preaching in actions rather than words.
I digress, the book is a novel in loose terms; it could be read as her memoir. The main character has some of the same attributes as Alice Walker. Specifically, Kate, Alice's mirror, is a widely published author in her later years with bisexual tendencies, left-wing ecologist politics and dreadlocks.
It seems the author is focusing on the ethereal and spirituality far more than the sexism/racism that are seen in her earlier work like the Color Purple. Although, of course, sexism, racism, colonialism, and womanism are all shadowed every chapter in this novel. She creates characters that are all affected by these 'isms in ways that prevent from functioning to their highest potential ( greatest good), as we all are to some degree.
Not unlike myself, Kate, the main character, has a series of dreams involving rivers. Except that, her river has run dry. She goes on a couple of pilgrimages during the journey. Her journey has a new beginning at the end of the book; I appreciated that. After she has an adventure with nature in the Colorado River and with a shaman in the Amazon, she has worked out her internal issues with "Grandmother", the Creator/ most high Goddess.
What was significant, in my opinion, is that her journey parallels her lover's spiritual quest albeit unintentionally in the novel. It makes me think about "being equally yoked". I think it is highly important that your partner shares/accepts your view of the Divine. Anything else is just too much work.
Oh yes, Ms. Walker, is just as relevant in her writing as she was 30 years ago. Although it appears she has less to say, maybe if she keeps saying more of the citizens of the world will hear it.