Title: The Goddess LettersAuthor: Vicki Matthews
Not only is Vicki Matthews a good story-teller, she also pushes her readers to open up their minds to new thoughts and ideas. This is quite apparent in her debut novel The Goddess Letters which was a recent finalist in the New Age Fiction and Visionary Fiction categories in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award and First Place winner in the New York Book Festival, Romance category.
Matthews acknowledges through the voices of her characters that by broadening our awareness of greater possibilities, we enlighten ourselves in perceiving the world around us differently and thus permitting us to accept dimensions of reality we often ignore. One of the principal themes of the novel and which Matthews takes steady aim is that unfortunately our culture is vested in a patriarchal society whereby males dominate decision making and hold positions of power and prestige. Consequently, they have the power to define reality and common situations. Forgotten are the times when women were equally powerful and when there was much more balance in the world between the sexes than what exists today. Reference is made to the Minoan culture that have lead some archaeologists to believe that men and women held equal social status. In addition, the Minoans seem to have worshiped primarily goddesses, which sometimes is described as a matriarchal religion.
To advance her convictions Matthews crafts a magical yarn about a college economics' professor, Robert Harris and an actress, Selena Wilmington. As the story gets underway we learn that Robert is pursuing a doctorate degree in economics at the University of Chicago while Selena is enrolled in the university's MBA program. Their relationship is initiated when Robert meets Selena in the library and offers to tutor her in economics and as he states: “If I'd known then, what I know now, I wonder if I'd have offered. But I didn't know, and I did offer, and she said yes. And so it began.”
Selena turns out to be quite a handful as she possesses the spirit of a rebellious headstrong young woman who feels that the world is in dire need of change. As we soon discover, what “began” between the couple was an intense love relationship tied in with Selena's vivid dreams which she transcribes in staggering detail. The descriptions of these dreams are passed unto Robert in the form of letters and they constitute a good part of the story.
According to Robert, whenever Selena experiences these dreams, they seemed to haunt her for days. He further discloses that although he felt sorry for Selena, his role as primary confidante brought an intimacy to their connection few people ever have, and for that he was deeply grateful.
Robert becomes caught up into Selena's eerie world of disregarded knowledge, ancient ritual, and surrendered rights. He even finds himself a part of one of Selena's dreams when he meets up with Jacobi, who is depicted as a protector of the male order and is only too happy to kill to hide a truth that could change the world. Both Selena and Robert endeavor to know why she is having these dreams? How was it possible that she is able to remember them so perfectly? And were they more than dreams wherein people were showing up with messages from somewhere beyond? No doubt, there is always the possibility that she is going mad.
Without giving away too much of the story, Robert lands a professorship at the University of Chicago and Selena ends up being a very successful Hollywood celebrity where she has the opportunity to use some of the material gleaned from her dreams to advance her thoughts concerning the necessity of having a world with more feminine energy to balance the masculine. Eventually, the couple's love relationship terminates and each go their separate ways. Robert enters into a content, but dispassionate marriage with someone other than Selena, however, during the ensuing years Selena keeps in touch with Robert and continues to fill him in about her dreams.
Matthews' story line is skillfully developed as she
spins a powerful yarn with a mixture of ideology and romance that
succeeds in conveying a serious message exposing the troubling issues
of inequalities between the sexes.