Following her modern classic and worldwide bestseller Mutant Message Down Under, Marlo Morgan's long-awaited new novel is a tale of self-enlightenment about aboriginal twins separated at birth and the search for roots that reunites them form opposite sides of the globe.
Once more Morgan unveils the inspiring aboriginal worldview while pointedly exposing the plight of an ancient race rapidly becoming extinct as a result of more than two hundred years of systematic discrimination.
Message from Forever follows the lives of Australian aboriginal twins who were taken form their young mother by Christian missionaries. The baby boy is sent to a huge sheep ranch, where he grows up with little adult supervision and random affection. On his own, Geoff develops his talent as an artist, producing work at a level well beyond his five years. The boy is adopted by an American minister and is raised in New England with little sense of who he is or of his cultural heritage. His sister is given only the first name Beatrice by the nuns at an Australian orphanage, where she encounters continual racism and experiences shattering looses for the first eighteen years of her life.
Upon reaching adulthood, Beatrice leaves the orphanage to work at a boardinghouse. Beatrice hungers to know more about her ancestral roots. She walks away from her life in the city to strike out into the northern desert nation, where she goes on a walkabout with a small band of Aborigines.
Geoff does not fare so well in America. As a teen, he runs away from home and slips into a life of crime, alcohol, and alienation. His addictions destroy him, and he finds himself on Death Row with little sense of how he got there. After decades of learning about people in the Outback, Beatrice leaves her nomadic life to become a "runner between both worlds." She returns to the Mutant world as a political activist fighting for aboriginal rights of citizens arrested and convicted of crimes in foreign countries, as well as a champion of the rights of adults who were taken from their native culture as children. Her life's work bring her into contact with her lost brother, though neither is aware of their relationship.
Beatrice gives Geoff the "message from forever," which outlines aboriginal philosophy and principles of good living, along with an offer to return to Australia. As we read the message with Geoff, we are challenged to stretch our concepts of identity, spirituality, and openness transcends injustice and degradation, directing us to live our lives in accordance with ageless values and simple wisdom.
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Marlo Morgan is a retired health-care professional. She lives in Lee Summit, Missouri. Her first novel, Mutant Message Down Under, was a New York Times bestseller for thirty-one weeks and was published in twenty-four countries.From Kirkus Reviews:
Based on aboriginal beliefs, a yea-saying wisdom book by the author of the originally self-published Mutant Message Down Under, which, by 1994, had sold 370,000 copies in Australia alone. In the 1930s, an aboriginal pair of twins is born in the Australian outback. Neighboring whites, English-born and established in a mission settlement, are bent on improving the lives of native dwellers: For forty years, the church had been building mission stations to house adult indigenous people extracted from the wilderness to civilize, educate, and save their souls. As ruthless as they are righteous, the white folk forcibly remove the infant twins from their native mother. For the boy, named Geoff, this means that at the age of seventy-two hours, the twin had severed all connection to his blood heritage. . . and would now become the ward of a wealthy, white rural family. Meanwhile, his sister Beatrice struggles to make do in a ghastly Catholic orphanage. Shes denied an education, shes molested by a priest, and shes compelled to have a hysterectomy at age nine before graduating to a slave-labor job in a boardinghouse. By his mid-20s, the boy--now an alcoholic--has received a life sentence without parole, having been falsely accused of a double murder. The story is then given back to Beatrice. Dropping everything and hungry to understand her origins, she heads for the outback, where she ends up living with the Karoon (first, original, unchanged) tribe of Real People for 30 years. Coming from a Christian civilization, she fears that her forebears, whom shes disposed to like, will disappoint her as models of human life. Instead, she enters their Dreamtime, becomes spiritually politicized to the Forever, and eventually reenters the outside world to work for the return of aborigines being held in foreign prisons. Morgans unflamboyant, matter-of-fact prose tends to keep euphoric philosophizing in check. Overall, her version of aboriginal life sounds much less presumptuous than New Ageism, and far more attractive. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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