This novel is like a delectable piece of pastry. There are so many layers in the themes, characters and the plot that it becomes compelling as you read and expose more layers.
The book begins with a funeral. Pandora, the main character, has just lost her mother unexpectedly. A sombre start; but as the coffin is being lowered, one of the men lets the strap slip and the coffin falls sideways into hole. Comedy! Surely not….
This is where you begin to expect the unusual and realize that this is not a predictable story. Pandora is a healer. She has been chosen and trained to heal and comfort people, and uses musical instruments to help her in her work.
Known as “Andy”, she has many roles to play. She is partner to Jay, to whom she was previously married and then divorced. When Jay’s second wife died and he and Pandora fell in love again and now live together with his five children and his mother in a large house.
Her peace has been disturbed by an attractive and seductive woman that Jay is working with at the moment. She has also discovered that someone has tampered with her mother’s grave.
A man claiming to be her brother has appeared on the scene, causing a great shock and revelations of her mother’s life that she had never known. As if this isn’t enough, she has been writing a column for a newspaper and has been invited to go on a television panel.
The flow of the story is smooth, and the spiritual occurrences wonderfully interlinked. A friend of one of her “saplings” (her name for Jay’s children) can speak to animals and informs her that the rabbits would like a larger run. The donkey has sighted the person who dug up her mother’s grave and names him. And the conclusion involves an elixir being placed on the tongue of members of the Isis Circle at a full moon ceremony
The combination of romance, spirituality, drama and humour has been wonderfully written by Carolyn Mathews.