Reviewed by Thelma Freedman, Ph.D.
(as included in the The Journal of Regression Therapy Volume ΧVIII, Spring 2008)
Melissa Bowersock, a certified hypnotherapist and Jungian past-life therapist for 13 years, has gifted all of us with a gripping novel driven by an unexpected past-life recall. Her widowed reluctant hero, ordinary skeptical guy Hal Thompson, submits to his daughter’s request that he experience a past-life recall. Convinced at first that he is just “making it all up,” Hal regresses to a lifetime that starts in Spain and moves on to Hispaniola and from there into Cortez’s army and finally the Aztec lands.
It is here that Hal first encounters the Queen’s Gold with its history of murder and treachery – and its hiding place. Later, when his family is threatened, Hal reluctantly agrees to take the trip from New Mexico across the border into the old Aztec territory to find the Queen’s Gold that disappeared some 500 years ago. This not to “prove” the past-life’s reality or to enrich himself, but only to secure the safety of his family.
This is a tale of love, murder, revenge, treachery, and greed across five centuries, and it moves along at a fast pace that never fails to hold the attention of the reader. Bowersock brings her characters to life – they are very believable, warts and all, and her descriptions of the spectacular terrain of the Aztecs put the reader right there along with the characters. (In fact, I wondered if she herself had experienced a past life in this wild and untamed time and territory).
I will also add that although Queen’s Gold is written for adults, it is also suitable for teenagers, as it has none of the coarseness so prevalent today, and it does have two teenaged characters who are sane, sensible, and vital to the plot.
The idea of tracking a past life back and using it as the foundation for a novel is probably not new, but I think Melissa Bowersock may be the first past-life therapist who has actually done so. Her presentation of the techniques of permissive past-life regression is excellent but (happily) restrained, and in the course of the story there is some useful discussion about regression, including the usual doubts and skepticism (mostly raised by Hal, our hero). But these are all side issues – the focus is on the story and the characters who live it out. Just the same, the novice and the skeptic both will learn much about the realities (and limitations) of past-life recall when properly done.
There may be some who believe that past-life regression is a SERIOUS MATTER and should not be used to build novels. I myself am not such a one. One of the great lessons I hope we have all learned from our work in our field is that life is meant to be lived and (when possible) enjoyed and learned from.
I do have a word of warning. I do not recommend that you begin this book at bedtime – it will keep you turning pages till dawn (trust me, I know!)