Author: Stella Vance
Author: Stella Vance
If you met Stella Vance at a dinner party and listened to some of her life experiences, your immediate reaction would probably be that she has enough material to write a book, and that is exactly what she did with her Dancing with Duality: Confessions of a Free Spirit.
After reading Stella's spiritual memoir, I have to acknowledge that here we have a free spirit as well as a wild free-living soul that can convincingly claim that “she has been there and done that.” This can be readily attested to by her many life escapades included in her book such as suffering from eating disorders, experimenting with a variety of drugs, aborting several fetuses, having fifty-six lovers that include her short-lived relationships and one night stands by age thirty-one, traveling and living in many countries including Saudi Arabia, India, Brazil and Malaysia, marrying a few times, experiencing date rape, cult involvement, earning three university degrees, teaching school, questioning her religious beliefs, studying acupuncture, attending all kinds of workshops including past life regressions and Satsang, participating in several ménages à trois, suffering the effects of taking Prozac, and a variety of other living on the edge experiences. You certainly have to concur that she has lived life to its fullest!
Traveling with Stella through various stages in her life from the early 70's to the 80's, 90's and the new millennium, we observe how she creatively adopts the perfect canvas to relay to her readers her many experiences on her own terms which may prove shocking to some readers with a low tolerance for such behavior. Nonetheless, as she reminds us throughout the memoir, “don't judge others for the actions which you judge them might well happen in your life. Your negative feelings toward another's behavior can actually manifest those same temptations or event in your life.”
Dancing with Duality is not flawless and what I found a bit too much and tiresome was that Stella becomes too caught up in reminiscing about her multiple love relationships and those of her friends that after a while I had difficulty keeping score. I wasn't sure who was sleeping with whom! Are readers really interested in hearing about the continuous exchanging of partners as if it were the popular children's party game musical chairs? In other words, it reached a point where I screamed out so what, who cares! Yet, on the other hand, I have to confess that the memoir did oblige me to keep my opinions to myself, abstain from negative feelings concerning Stella and adhere to the cliché “different strokes for different people.”
It is best to be
open-minded when reading this memoir even though you may not condone
Stella's behavior. In fact, probably most readers would not want to
have lived Stella's life, nevertheless, we must bear in mind that to
write an entertaining memoir worthy of spending a few dollars there
must be elements that would keep you turning the pages. And that is
exactly what Dancing with Duality does as Stella bares her
soul revealing her most private inner thoughts and feelings as well
as allowing readers to have access to a very colorful individual.
Moreover, Stella's unique and original voice gives this book that
special quality where at the end we have to commend Stella for her
passion and determination to accept whatever is thrown her way,
accept that nothing can hurt her and her belief that life is really a
game where we are merely the players.
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