A native of Houston, Texas, Marianne Williamson has been lecturing on metaphysics and spirituality since 1983. She founded the meals-on-wheels program Project Angel Food, which has served more than 10 million meals since 1989. She also cofounded the Peace Alliance and serves on the board of directors of the poverty nonprofit RESULTS. She has published 12 books, several of which have been New York Times bestsellers. An internationally acclaimed spiritualist, Williamson has appeared on numerous television programs, such as Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, Charlie Rose, and Bill Maher.
Williamson ( A Return to Love ) here tells women that they are goddesses with cosmic functions. A weakness: she often lets women hear what they want to hear--how ``special'' they are, how beautiful, how close to nature. When she draws from her own experience, Williamson gives sound, empowering advice on relationships, work, love, sex and childrearing. Still, her soft focus on the so-called feminine virtues, including that of assuming the submissive role during sex, often seems reactionary and contradictory, as when she argues that women were meant to be passive, but later claims that woman should assert their power. This mix of the mystical, the modern (Williamson says one of her old boyfriends left her for a ``bimbo'') and the Christian could be called visionary--but the combination doesn't always make sense, as in this statement: ``Our Kingdom is our life and our life is our Kingdom. And we are all meant to rule from a glorious place.'' Author tour. (May)
This is essentially a feel-good book, meant to inspire and empower women to take control over their lives and help return the world to the feminine qualities from which it has strayed. As in Williamson's best-selling first book, A Return to Love ( LJ 1/92), love is the key. Although Williamson's messsage is admirable--who among us is against the prospect of a world order based on love and understanding with an end to all that is antithetical?--many readers will be put off by the means she posits to that end. Most women do not think in terms of growth from girl to princess to queen to goddess. In addition, her assumption that all women intuitively know what is right is at best optimistic. This work could serve as a starting point for those who have difficulty approaching the concept of feminism. The success of Williamson's first book indicates New Age enthusiasts will be attracted here; aticipate demand where the first was popular. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/93.-- Kathleen L. Atwood, Pomfret Sch. Lib., Ct.