Reviewer Lois C. Henderson: Lois is a freelance academic editor and back-of-book indexer, who spends most of her free time compiling word search puzzles for tourism and educative purposes. Her puzzles are available HERE and HERE Her Twitter account (@LoisCHenderson) mainly focusses on the toponymy of British place names. Please feel welcome to contact her with any feedback at LoisCourtenayHenderson@gmail.com.
Author: Bette Lischke
Publisher: SDP Publishing
The intensity of In the Waters of Time lies in its exploration of the pathways taken by two women who live life in the same body, one, Elizabeth, who finds a meaningful existence in the arms of her lover, despite the grim surrounds of a Victorian workhouse, and the other, Jane, who flees her unfulfilling life in the modern-day corporate world to find a more personal sense of contentment in reshingling a friend’s home. Both of the characters have much in common, including a love for children, who are described in joyful detail, and their yearning to express themselves creatively. Elizabeth encourages the poverty-stricken and abused children in the workhouse to draw in colored chalk on the walls of their school room, while Jane finds an innate sense of accord in the world of interior decoration and design. No wonder, then, that one finds that the author of this metaphysical novel, Bette Lischke, is a well-known dowser and watercolorist who takes a keen interest in all things spiritual. Like Jane, she, too, has worked as an executive recruiter, and her own love for children is shown by the fact not only did she once work as a nanny, but also by her writing of numerous songs for children.
The Jungian influences on Lischke’s work are clear, in that the narrative is primarily focused on Jane, who lives in modern-day Portland, Maine, and who is able, first through dreams, and then by means of a steadily increasing emergence of her subconscious through her waking moments, to become ever more emotionally and spiritually in touch with what one assumes to be her previous life, as the initially socially constrained and duty-bound Elizabeth. As the flashbacks to her earlier existence become increasingly more powerful, Jane’s awareness of her own innermost conflicts in the present day develops in its intensity. By being open to her presence in this world on an earlier occasion, Jane is able to reconcile herself to the demands that are made on her in the present day.
In the Waters of Time is a genre-crossing (containing elements of history and mystery, as well as romance) and deeply sensitive portrayal of the role of women who wish to avoid the constrictions and restrictions that society has, for so long, sought to impose upon them. Lischke’s poetic use of imagery mirrors her depth of feeling, and anyone who appreciates the lyrical descriptiveness of the English language is bound to be sensitive to the nuances of this text. Do not expect the commonplace and mundane from In the Waters of Time, and you will not be disappointed. This novel is for all lovers of romance and the unexpected, who can appreciate sound character development and a well-written exposé of the human spirit as it travels through time.