The Incarnations

The Incarnations
Susan Barker

Beijing Olympics
Summer 2008

A taxi driver returns to his cab to discover a letter left inside his cab.  The writer of this letter claims to have known the driver in many past lives.  By turns, dark and violent and brimming with hope at other times, this book was challenging to read and there were moments when I almost put the book down.  In the end, I’m glad I followed through, as it gave a completely satisfying ending and one with hope.

With each letter, Wang Jun, the cab driver receives we recede into a past life that the letter writer and Wang have lived.  Many of the lives lived were dark and destitute.  Some were violent. What I enjoyed was the fact that Susan Barker used the past life stories in the book as a mechanism to discuss Chinese history and being a huge history aficionado, this is what kept me pushing through the dark lives that these two people lived.  I read somewhere online that in order to read the book you:
A.  Had to believe past lives existed.
B.  Suspend disbelief.

I don’t necessarily know if that’s the case as there are many books that offer themes and plot points that I didn’t know about previously or have an understanding of but I still enjoyed reading them.

The Incarnations is definitely a challenge to read at least for me it wound up being so.  I am happy I stuck with the book however and I believe if others feel like putting the book down, don’t!  I think you’ll discover a bright spot in the storm that this book delivered.

Until next time…
…Turn the page.

Chris

The Incarnations

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