I love books.

I actually once sat down and attempted to determine why this is so. I mean, after all, this is the age of electronics. I own six computers. I spend 12 hours a day squinting at a computer screen. The entire world of electronic information is available to me with a single mouse click. Anything one might imagine or desire is right there. All at the speed of light.

That being said, I still, at least once or twice each and every day, step away from this gadgetry, wheel my big old chair around and pluck an actual book from the actual bookshelf. I dunno. For some reason electronic information just seems somehow to be trickery – a milquetoast substitute for the real thing that is found only on the printed page. I love books because they are somehow just, well, warm. They seem more real. They have a texture and a smell. Computers keep me occupied. Books keep me sane. But I don’t think that is the real reason I love them so.

I own hundreds of books. I believe the real reason I love books is because they have the uncanny ability to suck me in; to take me away to another world – the world that exists beyond the sterile cold world of the electronic. The electronic is what it is. My own imagination is so much more. My mother used to say that my head was in the books. In reality, the books ended up in my head.

I am a dinosaur.

Each and every one of my books is special. This is because after finishing a new book I immediately make a final decision – keep or toss. The ‘good’ books, the ones I intend to feed my mind upon again, are given a coveted place upon the creaky, seriously overloaded shelf. Like a vulture I shall return again later to gorge myself. The others I enjoy for a time, digest what I can, and then throw away the stripped carcass like a monkey throws away the peel of a banana once the good part is gone.

There is a special shelf on my shelf of books. This is a shelf apart. It is reserved. It is here that I place the ‘Great Books’; the books I return to time and time and time again. These books, found only here on the special shelf, are the books that feed not only my mind, but also my soul. No book makes it to this coveted position without a very good reason.

‘The Book Of Dovey’ written by Stanley Spain is such a book. As a reviewer I am quite capable of turning out more than a few book reviews a day. Lord knows I am never at a loss for words. However, sitting here now, I find my fingers just lightly touching the keyboard, unsure how to start. This book simply defies description.

It is a journey of the human soul. No, it is more than that. It is the journey of many human souls– throughout time, throughout lifetimes, through many different bodies, human or otherwise. All told from the perspective of a dove. Does that make for a good start?

This time the soul takes the form of a dove. A white dove. This form is decidedly different from the last form – a sexually indiscriminate, sophisticated, intelligent, educated, confused and alcoholic young man. The man has returned (this time) to join again with the Princess. In the last incarnation, the Princess was the lover of the young man. This time, she owns him. Not only this, but she is quite aware of the fact that the dove she now holds in her hands is the lover she once held in her bed. This is just the first page, folks. It goes uphill from here.

As we go along we meet soul after soul. They have names like Smashface. Smashface is a dog with a crushed face. We discover Ed, a raging homosexual who works for the FBI. Sweet Pea Davenport and her pedophile father Homer. On and on and on it goes. I am not going to give away any of the plot because I simply cannot. It is, to use a descriptive phrase, indescribable. And it is thoroughly delightful.

The Holy Prostitutes (from Atlantis, of all places) are the real core of this story.

This is the beginning that Dovey (the dove) remembers, when the bonding began between six souls who were all Holy Prostitutes, together as a group, in Atlantis. Through the eons they meet over and over again as they live different lives together, each time expanding and improving their souls, repaying karmic debts, helping and hindering each other in their quest for the creation of the perfected souls required to move in permanently with the Divine Deities.

Ms. Spain, through Dovey, tells of the travails of the Holy Prostitutes in their different lives, sometimes with wit, sometimes with pathos. It is a book that will open your mind to consider other possibilities beyond the old bland and boring traditional possibilities generally accepted by the masses. It will cause you to smile, to smirk, to giggle, and sometimes to laugh out loud. And it may make you cry. Or, in my case, sniffle just a bit.

The Book of Dovey may bring a measure of comfort to some people. It will certainly create confusion in others. But at the very least, it will make you wonder who you might have been in a past life. It is, all in all, a spirit expanding book.

We are, as a group, sometimes far too serious in matters regarding the world of Spirit. I for one believe the Universe has a glorious sense of humor hidden away somewhere behind all the ‘thee and thou’ phraseology we have saddled it with, poor thing. After all, if Spirit truly is eternal, then there can be no such thing as death. Ms. Spain hits us right between the eyes with that one. I often wonder why my dog peers at me in almost exactly the same manner as my beloved but deceased grandfather. Hmm.

Stanley gets us so engaged and caught up in the lives of these characters as to cause us to lick our thumbs in anticipation of turning the page to see what will happen next. What often happens next is ‘POOF’ – the character is dead. Just like that. In a split-second phrase. Dead, yes, but not gone. For we shall see this one again. But certainly not in a way we might expect. Ms. Spain is a master of the unexpected.

The Book Of Dovey has a decided ‘What Dreams May Come’ kind of feel to it. Simply put, this book accomplishes easily what some of our drugs and some of our doctors might not be able to accomplish:

It makes us simply feel really good. Even while standing smack dab in the midst of turmoil and trouble. It shows us how to find a smile, even when up to our ears in the proverbial alligators. It allows us to see quite clearly that there is a loving design behind all things that we humans simply cannot yet perceive. It proves to us that there is a force at work here that is, above all else, benevolent and loving, though we cannot fathom its methodology.

It is a book that is worthy of its own shelf. Or, at the very least, a movie.

Don McCauley is a writer, an editor and is the author of ‘Learn To Live A Life Without Problems’. More information is available at http://www.heavenonearthsystem.com

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