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Reviewed by J. Aislynn d Merricksson for Readers' Favorite
Amazon Wisdom Keeper is the amazing story of one woman's life, as she struggles to grow and thrive in a country beset by revolution. As a young girl, Loraine Y. Van Tuyl grew up in the tiny rainforest country of Suriname. She was a perceptive child, quite in tune with the spirits of the rainforest. At the age of thirteen, Van Tuyl was uprooted from all she'd ever known and moved to Miami, Florida in the United States in order to escape the violent revolution that had erupted in her homeland. Life in Miami was no picnic. It was an abrupt culture shock. Torn from the nurturing rainforest, she lost her way for a time. It took a move to California to get things back on track. College afforded more growth.
I cannot even imagine living in a country where there are people snatched up and hurt, or killed, where you must flee to keep your family safe. Van Tuyl’s upheaval and transplant to Miami, where the culture was so different, sent her into a spiritual desolation. It was nice to see that while it may have taken years to unsnarl, it did not take decades. I loved it when she reunited with her inner child. That was just beautiful. And her dad's lessons on how to judge the value of any religion. That so resonates with my own beliefs. I hate people telling me theirs is the only 'correct’ wisdom. Her dad is right that even the Bible is translated and that makes it subject to the whims and values of the translators, and the socio-cultural milieu of the times.
I love her reasons for studying psychology. It's a fascinating subject. I also loved how she brought the lessons of the Amazon to her interpretive dance. The tree dance sounded beautiful. Learning of the Lakota medicine wheel seemed another turning point for Van Tuyl, encouraging her to continue following along a path most people either openly ridiculed as useless, or never bothered to learn about.