Sunday Book Review: Amazon Wisdom Keeper by Lorraine Y. Van Tuyl


Author: Lorraine Y Van Tuyl

Publisher: She Writes Press

Release Date:  October 24, 2017

Genre: Memoir, Psychology, Spirituality

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one, but I’m glad I took the chance to read and review it.  The spiritual memoir isn’t my usual fare, at least not recently. I read many spiritual awakening memoirs in the 90s, so at least I had those to compare. 

I enjoyed very much reading about the author’s childhood on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, in Suriname.  The family had to move, and once she was separated from her beloved home, it feels as if she was always trying to get back to what she had lost.

I don’t truly feel the author had anything new to say, though her experience is unique and a compelling story. I loved the part of her trying to develop a multicultural dynamic to aid her thoroughly western education in psychology and psychotherapy; her dedication, despite a growing sense of isolation, is impressive. 

I think the big lesson for me was a reminder, as a creative person, of the need to not only trust intuition and deeper feelings, but to continue to develop them until we can rely on them, until they’re second nature, to trust that the intuitions and dreams aren’t just a symptom or sign of a delusional psychosis.  As a psychologist, though, the author had to struggle with the fear of hurting someone inadvertently, as illustrated by her interactions with Paloma.

There are gems of insight in the author’s prose, though I don’t think she meant this memoir as a “teaching” guide or system of belief, as she studied many of them in her quest to integrate native wisdom with psychology.  I highly recommend this if you like spiritual memoirs.