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The Incarnations

A Novel

by Susan Barker

The Incarnations by Susan Barker X
The Incarnations by Susan Barker
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2015, 384 pages
    May 2016, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rory L. Aronsky
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Wonderful concept
I was very excited to read this book. I was fascinated by the idea of reincarnation and being unaware of former lives until someone brings awareness of those lives through disturbing means. The book is beautifully written the author adds so much color to her writing through her descriptions of different periods in Chinese history. There were two things about this book that were disturbing. I believe that this same story could have been told without all of the homosexuality. It didn't offend me; it just seemed so unnecessary especially since most of it was violent and loveless. The other disturbing thing was the ugly picture of China told through the different stories. It left me feeling like the author has very little love for China especially Bejing. There is a great twist at the end of the book, though, and I am glad I read it through until the end.

The Incarnations
I really tried to like this book, but I could not even finish it. I believe there is much more to the history of China than sexual abuse and torture which was described very graphically. The premise of two "soul-mates" being reincarnated throughout critical times in Chinese history was enticing. I am a reader who does not mind necessary violence in a book, but this one dealt more with that than the story of China itself. To me, it was sadistic and the most unpleasant read of my life. I would like to say that I am a former literature teacher, and a retired librarian, so I am very liberal and eclectic about books. But, this, to me, was the worst book I have ever read.
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