A few days ago, a reader emailed me to let me know that she’d posted a review of my new memoir The Supreme Victory of the Heart on Amazon. I’ve been lucky enough to have gotten several enthusiastic reviews of this book, but this latest one–by a woman named Kellie Heath–really bowled me over. Not only is Kellie herself a gifted writer, but I felt her review went right to the heart of what I was trying to do with this book, perhaps conveying it even better than I’ve been able to do myself. For that reason, I want to share her review with all of you here.
From Kellie Heath:
Deeply impressed by Sharon Rawlette’s previous work, The Source and Significance of Coincidences: A Hard Look at the Astonishing Evidence, I was extremely eager to have a look into the heart and mind that had produced such a significant book about the spiritual reality underlying our seemingly material universe. What a wonderful window into the author’s soul this gorgeous new book has provided.
Sharon Rawlette’s captivating memoir, The Supreme Victory of the Heart, artfully weaves together three overlapping love stories. One details the beautiful but painfully eclipsed romance between the author and a man she once stood to marry. Another traces the growth of a woman gradually coming to know and love herself more deeply. Finally, there is the over-arching journey of a devoted-Christian-turned-reluctant-atheist coming back to belief in the Divine after many years, but in a startlingly different and deeper way than she had imagined possible.
As no life is lived in a vacuum, the genre of memoir invariably involves publicly exposing the ways and doings of the other people connected to one’s story. This is perilous territory, but the author has managed to navigate it extremely well in the intricate and intimate telling of her heartbreak. It is difficult to imagine a more delicate, respectful, and compassionate portrayal of the man she so passionately loved, who ultimately chose to be with someone else. I must admit, he was so endearingly rendered that I often felt drawn to love him myself. And so, reading this narrative was a sort of communion with not one, but two beautiful souls. The kind of unconditional love that the author was ultimately able to embrace in the midst of her own pain, anger, and devastation was indeed a rare and supreme victory.
There is so much to love in this book. Charming and deliciously detailed descriptions of the author’s love affair with France and her Frenchman. Introspective passages—laced with an uncommon humility and honest self-assessment—that trace the journey of a highly accomplished and independent mind into and out of academia, and through the labyrinth of life’s biggest questions. A sometimes costly commitment to seeking and living by truth, as clearly as one can conceive of it. Intriguing encounters with the mysterious patterns of synchronicity, and how they and a breathtaking encounter with beauty became pathways toward perceiving a Higher Love still somehow at work in an often bewildering universe.
I highly recommend this book, which was even more enjoyable and gratifying on my second journey through it. Infused with intelligence, courage, sincerity, open-hearted searching, startling compassion and delightful humor, The Supreme Victory of the Heart is a truly fine spiritual memoir by a gifted writer and a lovely human being.