Happy Sunday all! I’m in a super mood as my baby nephew was born yesterday and I was honoured to be there to see him pop into this world! On to business though….today I’m bringing you a review of The Unlikely Occultist by Isobel Blackthorn – a biographical novel about the life of Alice A. Bailey…..
Librarian Heather Brown discovers the fascinating life of Alice Bailey – a long forgotten occultist.
Back in 1931, Alice is preparing to give a speech at a Swiss summer school. But how can she stave the tide of hatred and greed set to bring the world to its knees?
Soon after, Alice is put on Hitler’s blacklist. What she doesn’t realize is the enormity of her influence to the world, and the real enemies who are much closer than she thinks.
A dynamic and complex figure, Alice Bailey’s reach was huge. She was influential among people and organizations of global power, especially the United Nations, and is widely regarded as the Mother of the New Age.
Yet today she is maligned by fundamentalist Christians, Theosophists, Jews, academics and above all, by conspiracy theorists. Are any of these groups justified in rejecting the unlikely occultist?
“Blackthorn’s exploration of Alice Bailey’s life and work provides a unique and intimate insight into Bailey’s life and the times in which she lived. For anyone seeking to explore the roots of Bailey’s influence on the New Age movement as well as her unsought role as the bête noire of the conspiracy scene, there’s no better place to begin.” – Aaron John Gulyas, associate professor and author of Conspiracy Theories
Where to buy – viewbook.at/Occultist
This a thoroughly interesting and informative read. We’re told from the beginning which characters are real and which are fictional (the major characters are all real although their stories are told with artistic licence) and it left me wanting to research and learn more about Bailey!
The story starts with Heather (a fictional character) who, through her work, has been thrown into Alice’s life. She starts off on a trip, visiting places which were important to Alice and then the story unfolds as to how this happened. Heather needs to sort through paperwork and books written by Alice….to which Alice story unfolds. Some of the chapters are told by Heather, others are about Alice.
Alice is an intriguing and interesting character who has been through some trying times. She spends her life trying to do things for the greater good and is one of the first people to talk about areas of the occult. She writes about meditation, white magic, spiritualism etc and is one of the first people to use the term New Age. Her story is an interesting one and you’re completely pulled in to her world.
This is quite a long story, but it’s to Isobel’s credit that she doesn’t rush through the story she has to tell. Alice has had a long and interesting life which is covered brilliantly in this biographical novel. Make sure you have time to invest into this if you’re going to read it – rushing through it isn’t an option!
Overall, I really did enjoy this and am looking forward to doing some investigating into Alice; especially as she has links to Kent!
about the author
Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of unique and engaging fiction. She writes across a range of genres, including psychological thrillers, gripping mysteries, captivating travel fiction and hilarious dark satire.
Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism for her ground-breaking study of the texts of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Her engagement with Alice Bailey’s life and works has culminated in the biographical novel, The Unlikely Occultist.
tour hosted by
Rachel’s Random Resources
Many thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to Isobel and the publisher for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your extra day off if you get one!