The Emancipation of Giles Corey

The Emancipation of Giles Corey
By Michael Sortomme

Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Singing Lake Press (December 20, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780983051756


Reviewed By Katrina Rasbold

While I appreciate the limitations of marketing, to label this beautiful book a novel is nearly as much of an injustice as I have paid to the woman who asked me to review it.

Let me back up and dissect that last sentence.  This book is so much more than a novel.  It is steeped in realism and history and as one gets caught up in the story that is being told, it is impossible to continue viewing it solely as a work of fiction.

As to my own rendered injustice, I was honored to be asked to review this book and prepared (a month ago – *cough*) to give it my gracious, cursory review.  I enjoy reading books and I often complete the review and have a feeling of, “I will come back and read that more completely later.”  Sometimes I do.  Often, I don’t.  I plan to go back and give the book its due, absorbing every word the author labored to include and reading between the lines to find the hidden messages as well.  Too often, I read enough to give a quality review and then it goes onto “the stack.”  The stack is quite tall now.

In this case, I ran into a problem delivering my standard review.  I was absolutely riveted from the acknowledgments on.  This book will suck you in and should come with a warning label letting people know they should not even plan to do another thing until they finish it.  Since I am A) old and B) a full time college student and C) a wife and mom and D) a freelance journalist, a web designer, a telephone psychic and a virtual assistant, my reading for leisure time is limited.  Before I knew what was happening, I had a follow-up letter and I had not even finished the book yet.  I finally did today (sorry, Linda) and could not wait to get this review up.

All of that being said, this book is absolutely amazing.  The interweaving of compelling storytelling with rich history draws you into a world that elicits so many different emotions.  The reader is swept along with the four main characters in an incredible experience, an “American Camino,” that results in the freeing of 164 spirits who were previously bound to the earth.  In emancipating the spirits, the character also free up parts of themselves that are trapped by their own connections to the past.

The writing is exquisite (seriously, read the acknowledgments) and flows beautifully.  The chapters are small, which is nice for people, like myself who are not blessed with a lot of reading time.  You will literally never look at the era surrounding the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 in the same way and will feel as though you have experienced the stories of these tortured spirits yourself.  You will participate in their releases along with them and will simultaneously envy and dread the idea of living Sophia’s life and calling.

On a personal level, the rituals used in the book are lovely and respectful.  As a seasoned, multi-decade-invested  practioner of Craft, it is refreshing to read the techniques described and think things like, “Yep, that would work,” rather than cringing that the too often cheesy and careless construction of fictional ritual.  The relatability to the characters was one of the most valuable factors in my absorption into the study and I thank the author for her due diligence in creating a fictional piece that is still magically responsible.

I highly recommend this book to like minds and as I close this review, I will pass the book directly to my 18-year-old daughter who has become a Kindle snob and will cringe at the idea of holding an actual book.  At that point, she will read the acknowledgments and the book will have claimed yet another follower.

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